EnRoute Pinot Noir Russian River Valley


Our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Vineyards

Northern Spy Vineyard

Experience has taught us…

that vineyard ownership allows us to produce the best fruit for our wines, and we are fortunate to have acquired remarkable properties in the Russian River Valley AVA.

Northern Spy Vineyard

Near the western edge of the Russian River Valley, our Northern Spy Vineyard lies in the area where Russian settlers first cultivated grape varietals in the early 1800s. Today, Northern Spy Vineyard is part of the Green Valley AVA, a small yet highly prized niche within the larger Russian River AVA. Only 10 miles from the Pacific Coast, temperatures here are significantly cooler than most other parts of the Russian River Valley, resulting in more hang time and longer ripening potential for the grapes and the best Pinot Noir that we have to offer.

Northern Spy Vineyard’s 21.5 acres of double-Guyot-trained vines are rooted in the region’s famous Goldridge sandy loam soils, comprised of weathered sandstone and granite, with a fine, almost powder-like topsoil. We carefully selected seven distinct Pinot clones for this vineyard that are ideally suited to the Goldridge soils. Pommard 5, Mt. Eden, Swan, 2A and Dijon clones 115 and 777 are planted on 101-14 rootstock with 4 by 7 spacing. The clones combine with the soil and climate to produce moderately sized vines for optimal development and ripening of the fruit. Northern Spy Vineyard yields an elegant, silky, layered wine of subtlety, nuance and bright fruit character.

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Manzana Vineyard

Located in Russian River’s Green Valley AVA, Manzana Vineyard focuses on eight acres of Pinot Noir. The vines are cultivated on an east-facing hillside and thrive in the cool coastal climate and Goldridge sandy loam soils. Planted in 2001 to Dijon clones 114, 115 and Pommard 5, Manzana bears a classic example of Green Valley Pinot Noir, with a graceful interplay of perfumed, red-fruit aromas typical of the beautifully structured wines of the region.

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Black Emerald Vineyard

Stretching across a slope off Vine Hill Road just outside of Forestville, the Black Emerald Vineyard’s 17 acres of sandy Goldridge soils rest in the literal heart of the Russian River Valley. The vineyard dates back to the late 1980s, when it was first planted to the heritage Clone 4 Chardonnay. Because the vineyard is dry farmed, the vines tend to self-regulate, which keeps the canopies from displaying over-vigorous growth.

Although this is traditionally a warmer Russian River Valley area, the combination of well-draining, sandy soils, AXR-1 rootstock and dry farmed vines allows our grapes to ripen slowly and steadily. This is often the last vineyard to be harvested for EnRoute, and that extended hangtime gives us beautiful fruit intensity, without the clusters becoming overripe. The resulting wines are layered and elegant, with mineral, pear and soft floral notes of orange and lemon blossom.

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Amber Ridge Vineyard

Situated in the upper Middle Reach area of the northern Russian River Valley, Amber Ridge is a pedigreed vineyard that has brought forth many famous single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. Located off Starr Road, 22 acres of rolling terrain were planted to our California Pinot Noir on bilateral vertical trellising. The clonal mix includes Pommard 5, Calera and Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777 using 101-14 rootstock to limit vigor. The Huichica soil series in the vineyard consist of moderately well-drained loam with clay subsoils, mixed sedimentary rock and volcanic ash. Amber Ridge Vineyard produces a distinctive red wine Pinot Noir with a medley of ripe, dark fruit, earthy cherry and wild berry notes supported by a dense midpalate.

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