Sheep Ranch – Matchbook Wines


Sheep Ranch is named for the Dunnigan Hills region’s long history of ranching, starting in the 1850’s as California began statehood. Because of the upland nature of the topography, the area was valued for its drainage and buffering from floods. The region is once again prized, not for its emerald green grasses but for the fruit of the vine. Sheep Ranch is divided into three separate vineyards planted in successive years starting in 2012. The western vineyard is all white grapes highlighted by Dijon clones of Chardonnay planted on Corning Red Gravel with extreme outcroppings of rock resulting in low yielding vines. The eastern parcels are all Spanish – Verdejo, Tempranillo and Tannat (Tannat has Spanish origins). This fruit is the backbone of the Tinto Rey Spanish portfolio with the Tempranillo clone coming from the Rioja region of Spain. Of all the ranches that make up Matchbook Wine Company, Sheep Ranch is the most diverse in topography dictating small parcels. In addition to the current vineyards, two more parcels are planned in the future, which will add another 25 acres of vines.


3 parcels – Matchbook 12 (2.15 acres), Matchbook 13 (35.84 acres), Matchbook 14 (5.70 acres), Total acres – 43.69 acres

Date Planted:

2012, 2013 and 2014


Chardonnay (26.84 acres), Verdejo (9.75 acres), Tempranillo (5.70 acres), Tannat (1.4 acres)


Chardonnay (17 Robert Young, 809 Musque, 76 Dijon, 95 Dijon), Tempranillo (Rioja), Verdejo (02), Tannat (02)

Soil Type:

Corning Gravelly Loam 95%, Sehorn Balcom complex 5%. The soil consists of red loam containing course sand and other gritty material together with varying quantities of small, angular or water-worn gravel. At a depth of 12 to 20 inches there is more clay and clay loam followed at a depth of 24 to 48 inches by layers of gravel, clay and slit.


Sheep Ranch is owned by Matchbook and all fruit is used in the Matchbook wine program. The Chardonnay clones are used primarily in the Matchbook Chardonnay program; the Tempranillo is used for Tinto Rey Rose (traditional method) and red Tempranillo; Verdejo is used in the Tinto Rey Verdejo as well as both Matchbook and Black’s Station Chardonnay; and Tannat is used in blending for Tinto Rey Super Tinto and other red blends.