Our Pinot Noir wines are single vineyard wines that reflect the character of each individual vineyard or vineyard block, and the growing conditions of each vintage. The Pinot Noir grape has earned its reputation for being one of the most challenging to grow.  But, it is also one of the best in reflecting the site where it is grown and the particular conditions during each growing season. And, when the wine is made with a deft touch, the results are exceptional and memorable.  We love California and the elegant, well balanced, rich, multi-layered, complex and site-specific wines that be made from our coastal vineyards.  Because Pinot Noir is so site specific, we need to understand the nuances of each particular vineyard and vineyard block, and we are fortunate to work with exceptional farming teams that can make fine adjustments throughout the growing season. We source our Pinot Noir grapes from our unique Kite’s Rest Vineyard in Anderson Valley, and from the best vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations.

To make these site-specific Pinot Noirs we harvest the grapes in the early morning hours and transport them immediately to the winery.  The grapes are sorted, destemmed, and cold soaked for 48 hours. They are then inoculated with Burgundian yeast and punched down three times daily.  After fermentation the wines are aged for anywhere between 11 and 24 months in a mix of new and one-year old French oak barrels from the Allier, Vosages, Troncais and Bertranges forests. The resulting wines are elegantly structured, well balanced and age worthy.  We also strive for Pinot Noirs with wonderful depths of flavor, full mouth feel and lingering finishes.  But with a restrained approach to winemaking, each wine reflects the character of the vineyard site and the particular conditions of that growing season. The wines are generally released two years after harvest and can be enjoyed upon release, but an additional five to seven years of aging will reward the patient.

 
 

ESTATE PINOT NOIRS

We produce five Pinot Noirs from our estate Kite’s Rest Vineyard

 

Anderson Valley

KITE'S REST

Kite's Rest Pinot Noir is the wine that our estate hillside vineyard in Anderson Valley was designed to produce.  It is a blend of three different clones (Dijon 114 and 115 and Pommard) from the three distinct vineyard blocks (Redwoods' Edge, Stony Terrace and River Turn) in the vineyard. This wine offers a wonderful balance between the elegance and aromatics of the Redwoods' Edge block with the richness and length of the Pommard clone from the Stony Terrace and River Turn blocks. We produce approximately 900 cases annually.

Current Vintage Data

REDWOODS' EDGE

Redwoods' Edge Pinot Noir is from the top hillside vineyard block of our estate vineyard, surrounded by Redwood trees. This block has the steepest slope in the vineyard, and is planted with the Dijon 114 and 115 clones.  The wine from this block is typically the most elegant, aromatic and complex of our block designate wines, offering the greatest aging potential.  We produce 150 to 200  cases annually.

Current Vintage Data

STONY TERRACE

Stony Terrace Pinot Noir is produced from the sun-drenched middle block from our estate vineyard.  The clone is Pommard. This wine is typically the boldest Pinot Noir we produce with incredible richness and length, with a wonderful mix of black fruit flavors (such as blackberry, plum and Bing  cherry).  We produce 150 to 200 cases  annually.   

Current Vintage Data

RIVER TURN

River Turn Pinot Noir is from a vineyard block that lies along the side of the Navarro River.  This block is planted with the Pommard clone and typically yields a multifaceted wine with a similar richness and length to Stony Terrace, coupled with a mix brown spices and dark cherry flavors.  We produce 150 to 200 cases annually.

Current Vintage Data

ANGEL HAWK

Angel Hawk Pinot Noir is the reserve wine that we produce from Kite's Rest Vineyard only in the best vintages. Depending on the vintage, between three and six of the most age-worthy barrels are selected from the three vineyard blocks for Angel Hawk.  This selection occurs after the first 11 months of barrel aging.  The wine in these barrels is then blended together and returned to oak for a total of 24 months of barrel aging.  We produce between 75 and 150 cases of Angel Hawk in select years.

Current Vintage Data

 
 
 

AWAY PINOT NOIRS

We produce three Pinot Noirs from two vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation and two vineyards in the Sonoma Coast Appellation.  In each vineyard we have specific rows that are dedicated to Black Kite Cellars and farmed to our specifications.

 
 

Santa Lucia Highlands

SOBERANES VINEYARD

Since the 2010 vintage we have produced a Pinot Noir from three rows of vines in the Soberanes Vineyard planted with the Pisoni clone. The Soberanes Vineyard  Pinot Noir is a rich dark fruit Pinot Noir with a typical earthy palate and lingering, elegant finish. We produce between 250 and 500 cases a year depending on what Mother Nature provides.

Current Vintage Data

SIERRA MAR

In 2016 we will introduce our first Pinot Noir from the Sierra Mar Vineyard, from the 2014 vintage.  This is a higher elevation Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard compared to the Soberanes Vineyard, and also uses  the Pisoni clone.  We are excited to see what this well-respected vineyard yields for us.    We produce 100 to 150 cases of this wine a year.

Current Vintage Data

Sonoma Coast

GAP'S CROWN

Our Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of our newer  wines, with 2013 as our first vintage.  This large vineyard  is at the base of Sonoma Moutain, and is part of the proposed Petaluma Gap appellation, as suggested by its name.  We have 23 rows at the end of Block 2B, which are planted with the Dijon 777 clone.  Our first vintage, 2013, yielded a Pinot Noir stunning in its generous and mouthfilling nature upon entry, flavors of black cherry, sweet vanilla and cranbery, and a velvety, lingering finish. We produce approximately 250 cases a year.

Current Vintage Data

SONOMA COAST

Our Sonoma Coast appellation wine comes from the Glass House Vineyard near Stage Gulch Road in southern Sonoma County.  This vineyard is close to the proposed Petaluma Gap appellation, and is exposed to the afternoon winds that are a signature feature of that appellation.  The wine comes from three rows planted with three Dijon clones, 115, 767 and 777. This Pinot Noir is often our most floral offering, with delicate high-toned fruit and great acidity reflective of the Dijon clones and this coal-climate coastal site. We produce approximately 250 cases annually from this vineyard.

Current Vintage Data

 
 
 
 

We love the crisp minerality of Burgundian Chardonnays.  Mersault wines are our inspiration.  We have designed our California Chardonnays to reflect the characteristics of these lovely wines.  To achieve our flavor profile, we start with selecting vineyards from cool climates with strong wind signatures.  Our Chardonnays come from the Sierra Mar and the Soberanes Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, and from Gap’s Crown Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation.  

We follow what happens in Burgundy by taking our wine through a slow and cold primary fermentation, delaying the fermentation as long as possible through the fall and winter seasons, followed by malolatic fermentation in the spring.   We start by harvesting the grapes in the early morning hours and transporting them immediately to the winery.  The grapes are cold pressed and cold settled overnight before being inoculated at a low rate with Burgundian yeast.  The wine is sur lie aged in barrels and then experiences full secondary malolatic fermentation in the spring.  We use a mix of new and one-year old French oak barrels from the Allier, Vosages, Troncais and Bertranges forests.   The wines are bottled unfined.  The results are wines that have bright uplifting acids, well-structured mouth feel, wonderful phenolics and creamy finishes.  Hazelnut and almonds and many citrus and tropical flavors prevail.   

Santa Lucia Highlands

SOBERANES VINEYARD

We first introduced our Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay with the 2011 vintage (following our 2010 vintage Pinot Noir from this vineyard).  It is typically characterized by vivid fruit, mouthfilling richness and extraordinary length.  The Wente Clone yields a mixture of  wonderful fruit flavors that can include melon, mango, peach, apricot and coconut.  We produce 200 to 250 cases a year.

Current Vintage Data

SIERRA MAR

2014 will be the inaugural vintage of our Sierra Mar Chardonnay.  As with the 2014 Pinot Noir from this same vineyard, we are excited to see what this well-regarded vineyard will produce for us. We expect to produce 200 to 250 cases a year.

Current Vintage Data

Sonoma Coast

GAP'S CROWN

Our 2013 Gap's Crown Vineyard Chardonnay is our first from this vineyard (as is our 2013 Pinot Noir from this vineyard).   This  wine benefits from a wonderful combination of three Dijon clones, 76, 95 and 96.  Our first vintage is a striking wine, with a bright palate and sleek structure. Pear, white peach and apple flavors help make this an intensely flavored yet elegant wine.   We produce 200 to 250 cases a year. 

Current Vintage Data