Looking out across Opus One’s vineyards, one immediately senses Opus One is different. Cultivated with passion and a singular vision, the four meticulously hedged vineyards comprising the winery’s 169 acres (68.4 hectares) bear a unique signature in the Napa Valley. There is continuity in the way the vines are planted, tended, and harvested that imbues each vintage with unwavering quality.
Great winemaking begins in the vineyard. At Opus One, traditional approaches are taken wherever they work best. And, when modern techniques benefit the winegrowing process, they are researched, evaluated and integrated into practice. For instance, the vines are planted five to six times more densely than is typical in California. At higher densities, the vines produce smaller berries with higher skin-to-juice ratios and more intense flavors and aromas.
Opus One’s first estate vineyard was acquired in 1981 when Robert Mondavi sold Q Block (35 acres/14.2 hectares), part of his famous To-Kalon Vineyard, to the newly-launched joint venture. Then in 1983, the River Parcel, a 50-acre (20.2-hectare) ranch in Oakville, was purchased as surrounding land for the joint venture winery east of Highway 29. The following year Opus One acquired the 49-acre (19.8-hectare) Ballestra Vineyard, adjacent to the River Parcel and extending south to the Oakville Cross Road.
In 1995, Opus One viticulturists replanted the original Q Block with low-yield, high-density spacing and phylloxera-resistant rootstock. In 2008, Opus One acquired its newest piece of the To-Kalon Vineyard, the 48-acre (19.4-hectare) K Block, formerly owned by Robert Mondavi Winery.