Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sierra Foothills/Yuba Veraison Report & Water Notes: Lucero Winery, Dobbins

Dan and Marian Lucero, owners of Lucero Winery in the Northern part of Yuba County, write as follows: 
“We have just a small vineyard (4 acres) and a boutique winery on the premises.  Our crop has just turned color over the last two weeks.  We usually don't pick our varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot) until the end of September, or the first part of October.  Since it has been so hot, we figure harvest time will be the end of September. 
Our vineyard is set up on a timed drip system.  Fortunately, we have not had a water problem as we have a natural spring with a deep well.  And also fortunately, we haven't heard that anyone else is having a water problem in our area. 
Our crop looks much heavier this year than in previous years, probably because we did not have any frost or freeze.”

A bit about Lucero Winery:  Lucero Vineyards & Winery is owned by Dan and Marian Lucero on family owned property dating back to 1906 that’s located in Dobbins, California, 72 miles northeast of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.  Years prior to the vineyards being planted, the Lucero family ran cattle and farmed these gentle slopes amongst the Ponderosa Pine trees.  Then they looked for other uses of their land.

After his retirement as a teacher, Dan & Marian decided to start a vineyard. They and their children took many viniculture classes at U.C. Davis and with the help of their four daughters and their families, they hand planted the first vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay rootstock in 1993. The Merlot vineyard followed in 1997; it was hand planted with potted bench grafts.

These estate vineyards produce small crops of intensely flavored grapes. The combination of warm days, cool nights and rich red clay soil contributes to Lucero wines’ deep color, elegant flavors and full-bodied nature.

Ther emphasis is on growing and making limited production, ultra premium wines.

Never heard of Dobbins?  Well, here’s the fascinating Sierra historical scoop, courtesy of quick Internet research:  Dobbins (formerly, Dobbin, Dobbins Ranche, Dobbins Ranch, and Dobbin's Ranche) is an unincorporated community in Yuba County, California. It lies 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Marysville, at an elevation of 1742 feet, in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada Mountain Range off of Highway 20 and Marysville Road. Dobbins is north of Oregon House and south of Bullards Bar Dam. Dobbins has one post office, one general store, 2 churches, a grange hall, one grade school, one charter school, and Lake Francis Resort. The town was settled in 1849, and named for William M. and Mark D. Dobbins, early settlers. The first post office was established in 1851 under the name Dobbins Ranche; it closed in 1854. The post office returned in 1887 and has operated continuously since. A mining camp, Kentucky Ranch,was located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the southwest.

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