Malbec | Plum Ridge Vineyard, Sonoma AVA

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Malbec has surged into vineyards with it’s deep color, blueberry flavors and relatively low tannins. At low and high maturity it adds color and complexity to blends. It is an ideal partner for Pinot Noir and Zinfandel as well as more classic blends with its Bordeaux neighbors. Every cellar should have a carboy or two!

Product Quantity

Malbec Plum Ridge Product Variation, 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

Malbec is traditionally used to add dark color in Bordeaux varietal blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. More recently, Malbec has been recognized as a fine varietal wine, most notably by producers in Chile. A great blender for high sugar Cab, Merlot, Zinfandel or Syrah.

Always check sugar against are stats as there are variations, especially when working with small quantities.

Notes on the 2017 Vintage:

  • Juice Panel: Brix 24.1, 3.8 pH, TA 4 g/l, Malic Acid 2.3 g/l, Yan 224
  • Use BDX yeast.Add 28 gr. Tartaric acid, ferment warm, press at 0° brix. Complete Malolactic fermentation.


1986 was the beginning of Plum Ridge Vineyard. It was conceived and planned to produce Bordeaux varietals of exceptional quality. The land is almost all hillside and ranges in elevation from 1300 to 1800 feet. The vineyard is on a crest overlooking the Valley of the Moon and the diminishing northerly slope of Sonoma Mountain East of the town of Santa Rosa.

 Almost 80 acres of hillsides and hilltops comprise the setting for six distinct vineyard plots of eight varietals. This is a stunning vineyard with the potential for exceptional wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is the core grape occupying three distinct plots.
Brehm Vineyards began exploring this vineyard in 2011 during a very cool, wet season. We were impressed with the quality of fruit and the resulting wine. The high elevation offers coolness during the day, and warm nights. Air movement allows good conditions within the canopy. 2011 grapes had good sugar, were clean with balanced acids, right on varietal character while many of the valley grapes suffered.
These are cool climate grapes, they come in late, and that is what Peter likes. Without implying any inferiority of any vineyard aspect, we are enjoying the benefits of ridge top, hillside aspects. While the valleys get warmer in the day and cooler in the evening than the hilltops do. The hilltops stay cooler in the heat of the day and warmer at night. Late maturing varietals can benefit with the warmer evening temperatures, in the fall especially.