A Google Earth Animation, showing the locations of HOUYI Vineyard, with NINE SUNS Winery, during construction.

At nearly 1,400 feet above sea level on south-sloping acreage, HOUYI Vinyeard sits above the fog line, basking in the morning sunshine. Twenty-two acres are planted primarily to Bordeaux varietals, with several Rhone blocks. HOUYI’s oldest vines were planted in 2004.

Situated in the Vaca Mountains – the eastern-most range of the Napa Valley – the Hambright soils of HOUYI Vineyard originate from volcanic basalt flows. Since the end of the last ice age, when sea levels began rising and 120” of annual rain was common to the area, boulders began to take on a rounded shape. Continued intense weathering pulled potassium and iron-rich minerals off the rock face, leaving today’s spherical boulders floating in a sea of red clays.

To develop and farm HOUYI Vineyard, vast quantities of boulders were excavated from the top five feet of soil. Stones remaining below the five-foot datum provide deep fissures for grapevine roots to forage down, seek out moisture and draw nutrients. These geologically young, inhospitable, yet intensely mineral-rich soils are what give HOUYI vines their superior vigor and the fruit its extraordinary concentration.