Cabernet Sauvignon, Charlie Smith Vineyard | Moon Mountain AVA, Sonoma

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One of the best Cabernet Sauvignons Peter has harvested, from a list that includes Nathan Fay’s Stags Leap Cabernet, comes from Charlie Smith Vineyard in Moon Mountain AVA.  These grapes produce rich, mouth-filling wines, void of harsh edges, with deep and complex aromatics.  Perched on top of a ridge East of Kenwood, the vineyard’s volcanic soils contain patches that are almost purple in color. Organically farmed, these grapes evoke the “wow” response.

To order grapes, click “choose an option” and select a product size (pail, drum, etc.)  Next, enter a quantity and click the “Add to Cart” button.  See the description section below for product information.

Product Quantity

Cabernet Sauvignon, Charlie Smith - All Locations – optional


2020 Harvest Cabernet, Charlie Smith - CA



Frozen Black Grapes  Are sold as destemmed grapes. Yields are estimates and vary depending on the vintage, varietal and the winemaker’s pressing and racking style. All grapes listed under current inventory are frozen.

  • Pails contain 5 gallons of grapes, yielding approximately 2.5 – 3.5 gallons of finished wine.
  • Drums contain 425 pounds of grapes, yielding approximately 30 gallons of finished wine.
  • Delivery:
    • Pails can be shipped via FedEx, LTL or picked up at the freezer. We cannot FedEx drums.
    • FedEx Shipping – Orders from CA and OR ship at the same rate. If shipping to the Midwest or East Coast, select pails from PA for the best rate.

2019 Harvest Pre-order will launch in July. Pre-order is required on all fresh grape sales and recommended for frozen grapes to guarantee availability. For orders of a ton or more, please contact us now.

Fresh Black Grapes are sold by the pound as whole bunches with stems at harvest, (Typically September through October). Fresh Grapes cannot be shipped.

  • The minimum order for fresh grapes is 100 pounds. Special pricing is available for bulk orders over 2,000 pounds.
  • Fresh grapes are sold net, without containers and must be picked up at the processing site at harvest.
    • California grapes are processed in Petaluma, CA.
    • Oregon and Washington grapes are processed in Underwood WA, (1 hr. east of Portland, OR).
  • Destemming – Please request when you place your order. The destemming cost is 10 cents per pound. Stem weight is calculated at 6%. For example, 100 pounds of fresh grapes will yield 94 pounds of destemmed grapes.

Winemaking Thoughts

A long-time customer recently shared that his 2017 Charlie Smith Cabernet is the best he’s he’s ever made. We recommend adjusting sugar / brix level below 25.0° brix – 24.5° brix if applicable, refer to stats. Expect good color extraction early on, gradually guide the fermentation to peak at 85°F. The use of quality oak cubes or sticks during fermentation may help bind color in the wine. Yeast commonly employed: Uvaferm BDXTM is a vigorous fermenter. Alcohol tolerance can be up to 16% (v/v); Lalvin ICV D254® develops ripe fruit, jam and cedar aromas together with mild spiciness – known to have an alcohol tolerance of up to 16% (v/v) when the fermentation is aerated and the temperature is maintained below 28°C (82°F). Wine made for consumption in 2 to 17 years may be pressed from 4° brix to 0° brix, a long maceration not recommended. Light oak aging is beneficial, however too much is detrimental. Malolactic culture may be added at yeast fermentation while the wine is still warm, or once dry. Blends are part of this varietals heritage, however these grapes make a beautiful wine on their own. Notes for 2017 Vintage: 

  • Use Lalvin GRE or EnofermCSM yeast
  • These grapes have varying brix, please check before making adjustments. Do malolactic fermentation. Add a medium portion of yeast food, 0.6 liters of water and 34 gr. of Tartaric acid. Follow safe protocol: fast ferment, 4.5 days on skins, ferment 75° f.


 Perched above the town of Kenwood, Charlie Smith’s Vineyard is located on Nuns Canyon Crest at 1600 feet elevation in the beautiful Sonoma Valley AVA and more specifically Sonoma’s newest sub-AVA,  Moon Mountain. It is on the very top of the Mayacamas ridge separating the Sonoma Valley from Napa Valley.

The vineyard is planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon, growing on decomposed volcanic rock, with open exposure to air and sun, which has proven to be ideal for the Cabernet.The vineyard has deep red volcanic soil that in places almost turns purple. There is broken shale beneath. 

There is broken shale beneath. The rich, smooth flavors of the wine from these vines fill the mouth with deep layers of fruit. BV has been offering wine from these grapes for a few years – and all we hear is praise. During this time Phil Coturri, the viticulturist for Charlie Smith, has been allowed to grow the best grapes possible – organically.