Monday, August 10, 2015

Some Views of Niner Estates and Heart Hill at the Beginning of August

Niner Estates Tasting Room Entrance, © B. Radisavljevic
Niner Estates Tasting Room Entrance
The hill with the heart-shaped oak grove along Highway 46 West has been there since I moved to Templeton over twenty years ago. There were no grapes there and no tasting room. I can't remember the year that grapes were planted and the buildings appeared, but I know that I was making videos and taking pictures of Niner States by 2010. I'm sure it was there long before that and I'd just been too busy to make much notice. This photo is of the tasting room.

Niner Estates Landscaping, © B. Radisavljevic
Although all vineyards are attractive, Niner Estates has a special kind of subdued beauty that blends with the earth in a way that some of the other winery properties don't. The stone work on the exterior of the tasting room and the muted colors of the plants in the landscaping complement each other. The rows of white roses and lavender lead the eye to the greens of the vineyards and trees in summer when everything is in bloom.

Niner Estates Landscaping, © B. Radisavljevic
I love the way the vineyards climb the rolling hills behind the buildings. Oak trees dot the vineyards. The roses and lavender stand in the foreground.

A person driving west on Highway 46 has a visual treat on the north side between the 101 Freeway and Vineyard Drive. So many wineries and vineyards to grab one's attention! From the east are the vineyards of Doce Robles, Summerwood, Tooth and Nail, Dark Star Cellars, Niner, Hunt Cellars, Zin Alley, Cipher, and Croad. And that's just the north side of the street. Each is unique, but Niner still manages to stand out because of how much space is not allotted just to grapes.

Niner Estates Heart Hill, © B. Radisavljevic
Of course, Heart Hill is the most prominent landmark on the property. It is best seen from the West. When I was at Niner Estates on Saturday, August 8, taking these photos, I noticed the crape myrtle trees were also in bloom -- white ones, to match the roses. You can see them, as well as many olive trees, in this next photo of
Niner Estates Heart Hill, © B. Radisavljevic
Heart Hill.

I didn't notice so many olive trees last time I was there, but they seemed to be everywhere on this visit. You can see several behind the wall in the photo to the left.

Below is the large one near the tasting room entrance.

Niner Estates Olive Tree, © B. Radisavljevic

Niner is growing four different varieties of olives for oil  it uses in its restaurant. I have read they also plan to plant a vegetable garden for use in the restaurant. So it appears that the Niner intends to be more than just a producer of wine.

In the photo below, I have enlarged a portion of the tree so that you can see the olives getting ripe. You can click on any photo on this page to enlarge it for a closer look.
Niner Estates Olives, © B. Radisavljevic

Here's a poster you can purchase showing how Heart Hill looks in  autumn.
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