Total Acres: 22 acres
Soil: Calcareous Limestone
Elevation: 1580 - 1735 feet
Vine Spacing: 11 x 11 ft. in a diamond configuration. 360 vines/acre
Yield: 1 ton/acre
Planted in 2003, Michael’s dry-farmed vineyard contains 22 acres of traditional head-trained, dry-farmed heritage Zinfandel, whose clones were sourced from plantings in the Paso Robles AVA dating back to the 1890s. The name tributes Adelaida’s ranch and vineyard manager of more than 40 years, Mike Whitener. A long-time presence at Adelaida, Mike and his family have been an essential part of the Paso Robles wine and farming community for more than six generations. Mike and his father, John, first worked alongside the Hoffmans to plant the HMR vineyard in 1964, and then started with the Van Steenwyks in the 70s. At the start of the new millennium, Mike and Don walked the HMR ranch to discuss what to plant at this hillside site. Mike’s advice was to plant head-trained and dry-farmed Zinfandel, as it befits the soil and site. Zinfandel’s history in Paso Robles runs almost as deep as the Whitener family’s. Naming this vineyard after a lifelong Roblan seems fitting.
Covering a wave-like, undulating hilltop, the vineyard has varying elevations ranging from 1,580 to 1,735 feet. The holistic practice of dry-land farming includes annual spring disking to turn the topsoil, followed by ring rolling to smooth the surface and seal in moisture by compacting dust. At 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vineyard claims ideal exposure to the natural arc of the summer sun and benefits from the dramatic diurnal temperature drop of 40 to 50 degrees from daytime highs.