ASHES & DIAMONDS’ Mountain Cuvée “Bates Ranch” is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the historic, four-generation-old Bates Ranch near Mount Madonna, in the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Cabernet Sauvignon grows at a peak altitude of 2,100 feet and an extreme southeast slope of 30%. A few hundred feet below, the old-vine Cabernet Franc, planted in 1972, is dry farmed in well-drained silt soils with inclusions of decomposed, iron-rich volcanic magma pushing up from below the earth. The picks of the two vineyards are staggered and then the grapes are co-fermented by native yeasts. The resulting wine is plush yet primal, with enveloping tannins and relentless length, dark fruit and the unmistakable vibrancy of dry-farmed old vines.