Mother Nature had her own artist-in-residence program long before the Michael family came to this valley. Near the tippy-top of the property sits a 16-ton boulder that now serves as a signpost to the Ma Belle-Fille vineyard. Perhaps as good as any art installation on the property, the mass of volcanic rhyolite makes you stop and think. That boulder and countless others were moved to make way for vines, an endeavor emblematic of what Sir Peter Michael calls America’s “can-do” attitude.
The boulder also represents the enormous amount of work that it took to establish these mountainside vineyards. The boulder’s vantage point, some 2,000 feet above sea level, provides a sweeping view of the estate and the vineyards below. “When I stand at that rock and look over the vineyards from the top of Ma Belle-Fille, particularly during harvest, I just think what a miraculous site it is,” ruminates Sir Peter before adding, “And I can sit back and feel pleased about what has happened.”