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Russian River Valley Vineyards

Our Passion for Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Creating great wine in an area as geographically and botanically rich as the Russian River Valley isn’t difficult for experienced vintners.

But creating great wine that stands out is.

That’s what we strive to do with every barrel, every bottle, every vine, every grape. Our journey to the Russian River Valley was the culmination of a decades-long pursuit of perfection in the craftsmanship of Pinot Noir, and with each vintage, we take the best of what the valley has to offer — and bottle it up.

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What a Difference a Few Miles Can Make

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.

We scouted the region for the premier locations to pursue our passion — and we found four parcels that fit our exact needs, right down to the consistency of the loam, to produce an intense array of tastes, textures, and profiles. Here’s a little about each of our prized vineyards.

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Amber Ridge Vineyard

The 22-acre Amber Ridge Vineyard is well-known to produce rich, fruity, earthy, single-vineyard Pinot Noirs of distinction. This is in no small part due to its Huichica soil series, which comprises clay subsoils, mixed sedimentary rock, and volcanic ash.

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 was planted with 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 consists 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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Northern Spy Vineyard

This is what the Russian River Valley is all about. Our Northern Spy Vineyard sits atop old lands where Russian immigrants first cultivated grape varietals 200 years ago. It doesn’t get any more traditional than that. The resulting wines are elegant and smooth, with a surprising subtlety underscoring the bright fruit character. 

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 we have to offer.

Northern Spy Vineyard’s 17.5 acres of double-Guyot-trained vines are rooted in the region’s famous Goldridge sandy loam soils, composed 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

This eight-acre vineyard may be small, but here, it’s all about quality over quantity. The cool coastal air and Goldridge sandy loam soils give way to the quintessential Green Valley Pinot Noir.

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 with 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

Despite boasting a slightly warmer climate than the typical Russian River Valley vineyard, Black Emerald features well-draining, sandy soils, AXR-1 rootstock and dry-farmed vines. Consequently, wine grapes are allowed extended hangtime on the vine, producing intense fruit that gives way to elegant and complex wine.

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. This vineyard dates back to the late 1980s when it was first planted with 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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Browse Our Wines

What began as a search for the ultimate Pinot Noir has developed into a robust and exciting catalog of wines sure to entice and delight any enthusiast. Here’s what we currently have available, all straight from the Russian River Valley.

Pinot Noir, “Les Pommiers”

Our original endeavor showcasing the best flavors from across our Russian River Valley vineyards. Experience the complexity and joy of perfectly blended Pinot Noir.

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Single-Vineyard Pinot Noirs

These offerings represent the unique flavors and qualities of four of our most distinctive vineyards: Amber Ridge, Bucher, Marty’s and Northern Spy.

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Chardonnay, “Brumaire”

“Brumaire” showcases the vibrant, bright citrus and mineral notes and the textures that epitomize the region’s best Chardonnays. It comprises a delightful confluence of flavors that are just as refreshing and invigorating as the morning fog for which it’s named.

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NEW: Rosé, “Facile à Boire”

Crisp, fruity and refreshing, this Rosé combines accessibility with sophistication in a playful manner that perfectly suits it for any season and occasion.

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