Topel Estate Winery and its mountainside vineyards enjoy commanding views of bucolic Sanel Valley and the picturesque town of Hopland from high plateaus on Duncan Peak in southern Mendocino County.
Owners Mark and Donnis Topel are passionate winemakers with a deep regard for the history and tradition of wine. For more than 30 years, they have committed themselves to the preservation of 160 acres of pristine, sacred land that was once a Pomo Indian settlement and part of the Sanel Valley Land Grant to General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo.
Working literally on their hands and knees to clear brush, they have planted 25 acres of choice Bordeaux grape varieties and the very rare Syrah Noir, from which they handcraft premium, limited-production wines of world class caliber.Topel Mountain Estate Winery’s location — at an elevation of 1400 feet — hovers just above the fog line. The terrain is gloriously unforgiving, with steep, rocky slopes and alluvial soils.
Carefully tended vines take advantage of multiple sun exposures and afternoon winds waft through the rolling terraces. The nights are cool, providing blessed relief from the summer heat. All elements combine to create a terroir that produces moderate yields of intensely flavored grapes.
Because the Topels are devoted to self-renewing and sustainable agricultural practices, the vineyards are immaculate – untouched by chemicals. Well water and rainwater gathered in estate ponds nurture organic vines and carefully selected cover crops. Solar energy powers all operations. The concern of the Topels is not only for the land itself, but also for those who live and work on it.
For more than 21 years, led by Vineyard Manager Manuel Nuñez, the same vineyard crew has farmed the land and tended the vines.
In addition to their highly regarded mountain grown Estate wines, the Topels also work side-by-side with selected growers in other prime appellations who meet their high expectations and utilize the same farming philosophies to cultivate diverse varieties they just can’t resist. The wines crafted from these exceptional vineyards include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and other varietals, which round out the Topel portfolio.