Olive Hill Estate Vineyard was named for B.R. Cohn Winery’s historic grove of Picholine olive trees, imported from France in the mid-1800s. Located in the heart of California’s celebrated Sonoma Valley, Olive Hill Estate Vineyard produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used to craft B.R. Cohn’s acclaimed Olive Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Olive Hill Estate Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.
Olive Hill Estate Vineyard is blessed by natural underground hot springs that warm the soil, creating a naturally frost-free environment during the growing season. Further, it is protected on the west by Sonoma Mountain, which acts as a buffer to coastal fog, creating more sun exposure for the grapes. Less fog, more sunlight and no frost during the growing season makes for days that are seven to ten degrees warmer than other parts of Sonoma Valley during the crucial growing months. These high daytime temperatures result in earlier bud break, an extended growing season and an earlier harvest than neighboring vineyards.
In addition to these unusually warm days, Olive Hill also enjoys the tempering effects of cool ocean breezes, which travel from the northwest and are funneled between the Sonoma and Mayacamas mountains in the late afternoon. This phenomenon creates a climate of extremes at the vineyard, with warmer-than-average days and cooler-than-average nights that result in grapes of greater intensity and character. These various attributes all combine to create a truly unique microclimate, with ideal conditions for maturing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to the perfect ripeness.
Olive Hill Estate Vineyard have well drained gravelly loam soils that create exceptional growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with ripening patterns controlled by drip irrigation. Varying soil depths and exposures also help to create a variety of flavors from which winemaker Tom Montgomery crafts the B.R. Cohn wines.
Olive Hill Estate’s 61 acres of vineyards are planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts planted to Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
Olive Hill’s eight blocks are farmed as uniquely separate vineyards, each with its own individual strengths and attributes. The original vineyard blocks utilize primarily St. George rootstock, two-wire trellising and 8 x 12 spacing, and are cane-pruned. The more recent blocks, planted between 1997 and 1999, utilize viticultural techniques such as steel stakes, closer vine spacing and vertical trellising, with Cabernet Sauvignon (clone 4, Mt. Eden clone and French clones 15 and 337) planted on 420A and 101-14 rootstock.
Tom Montgomery works intimately with each row within each block of the vineyard, farming by taste and picking only at optimal ripeness. Throughout this process, he carefully determines which grapes will be used in each wine. Once at the winery, he practices minimal intervention winemaking, asserting that it is Olive Hill Estate’s unique terroir that is responsible for the rich, elegant wines that have become a hallmark of B.R. Cohn Winery.
B.R. Cohn Winery’s celebrated Olive Hill Estate Vineyard Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon and Olive Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon are made exclusively from grapes grown on the Olive Hill Estate Vineyard. In addition, grapes from Olive Hill Estate Vineyard contribute to B.R. Cohn Sonoma Valley Zinfandel and Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon. B.R. Cohn Chardonnay is produced from grapes grown in the Carneros region. A small amount of Syrah is also produced in the Carneros region and sold exclusively in the B.R. Cohn Winery Tasting Room.