Pisoni, Savoy and MacRostie, Oh My!

This morning we’re on our way south to visit the source of our new Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard for the last time before the 2010 harvest.  As we’re battling traffic, caffeine overdose, screaming kids and their raging DVD selection conflict in the back row, we thought now would be a good time to formally announce our 2010 pinot lineup. Our goal, always lofty, has been to land fruit from the top growers in each of our target regions – Santa Lucia Highlands, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma Coast.   We’re ecstatic to reveal that we’ve hit the mark in all three AVA’s.

Santa Lucia Highlands

We’ll be sourcing our Santa Lucia Highlands fruit from the Pisoni family.  Along with long time partner Gary Franscioni, the Pisonis virtually define pinot noir for the Santa Lucia region.  Siduri, Kosta Browne, Patz and Hall, and other famed wineries source fruit from Pisoni family vineyards.  The Pisoni and Franscioni families have two newer vineyards that we’re honored to be sourcing from this season – Sobranes which is adjacent to their famed Garys’ Vineyard and Sierra Mar, a higher elevation plot that lies very close to the Pisoni Vineyard.  We’re particularly thrilled about this relationship since it was a Garys’ Vineyard pinot that first turned us on to California pinot noirs so many years ago.

Anderson Valley

Like Pisoni is to SLH, no grower in more synonymous with Anderson Valley than Rich Savoy.  Fruit from his vineyards have helped launch high profile brands Littorai, Radio-Cotteau, Roessler, and more into the stratosphere of top pinot producers.  We’re thrilled that Rich has carved out a small parcel in his high elevation Deer Meadows vineyard for us in 2010.  We knew we had found a soul-mate when he told us at our first meeting, “if you’re planning to pick this fruit above 24 brix, I won’t sell it to you.”  Rich knows what he’s doing, and we’ll be reaping the benefit.

Sonoma Coast

The Sonoma Coast appellation is a huge area that many argue ought to be subdivided into more well defined zones.  We agree – and while some are transfixed on fruit from the so-called extreme Sonoma Coast, our fascination is with fruit from the so-called Petaluma Wind Gap, a growing zone heavily influenced by both the Pacific Ocean and the Tomales Bay.  Steve MacRostie is growing some of the best pinot fruit in this area at his Wildcat Mountain vineyard, which is quite close to the Carneros-Sonoma Coast dividing line.  In addition to an estate bottling by Steve’s MacRostie Winery, this fruit makes its way into a lot of top rated Sonoma Coast blends from a number of producers.  Remote, high elevation, and highly stressed, this fruit is sublime. 

Look for more information on these vineyard sources – including videos and pictures – in the coming weeks.

In the interim wish us luck as we bottle our 2009 pinots on Monday August 30th!!

And as a teaser, here’s a great shot of the Wildcat Vineyard with views to the Tomales Bay and San Francisco to the south.



Photo credit:  Ed Overstreet