In the heart of Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, CA, Arbor Bench has been owned by the Hart-Lidow family since 1984. It is comprised of almost 100 acres, with nearly 33 acres devoted to vineyard and the rest to native woodland. The land is planted to Merlot on the lower reaches, and to Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec on the upper benchland.
Unlike the sandy loam of much of the valley floor, the distinctive red benchland soils are gravelly loam, prized for more than a century for producing grapes of exceptional complexity and flavor. The valley floor and western-facing benchland vineyards receive good sun exposure during the day, and the grapes greatly benefit from the evening’s cooling fog off the Pacific Ocean less than twenty miles away. These factors further concentrate varietal character and acidic balance.
Sustainable Farming Practices
In 2008 we ended the practice of tractor “disking” for weed control, and have planted cover crops instead. With a non-till system, the vine row cover crop becomes habitat for beneficial insects, and the risk of erosion and runoff during the winter and spring rainy season is minimized. This is critical in helping protect our native Coho Salmon and Steelhead fisheries in Dry Creek Valley
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