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The vintage of a wine is a story in a bottle; the story of the growing season from bud break to harvest, with the last 30 days before harvest being the most meaningful. However, the weather during flowering has a larger effect on quantity and is often the first indicator for quality.  Every year I try to capture the voice of the vintage.  Knowing my sites well, I use my tools wisely, from crop thinning to irrigation, to bring out intensity and grace.

Ideally the wine is made in the vineyard. This means that as the fruit comes in, our job is to destem and ferment the juice. We make sure the process runs smoothly until the young wine is finally aging in hand selected oak barrels.  However, in some years the cellar work is our last resource to bring out the best of the vintage. That is why the full journey from vineyard to bottle is so meaningful.

2016: We were blessed us with another near-perfect growing season. The vintage was eerily reminiscent of 2014: an early season starting with an early bud break and flowering. The vineyards brought the goods and we were able to capture them. I think the 2016s are accessible and serious. They are elegant and structured.

2017: The defining features of the vintage were the tremendous rainfalls we experienced in the winter and, on October 8th, some of the worst fires in California history broke out in Napa and Sonoma counties. A mild start to the year brought early bud break on March 15th. Flowering was also early, getting underway the first week in May, which pointed us to an early harvest. However, the summer growing season was not without surprises as we had several heat spikes in June and July. August, however, was gloriously even with a beautiful cycle of cool marine air in the mornings to help modulate the temperature. Come harvest we had healthy crop yields and the grapes produced wines that are lively and delicate. This was similar to 2016, with some of the concentration reminiscent of the 2015 vintage.

Enjoy these unique vintages now and see the site through the lens of the growing season. Cheers!

–Anne Moller-Racke

2017 Pinot Noir
1861 Vineyard

Sonoma Valley
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