Wine Dogma

I believe great tasting wines are those that are true to the people and place that grew them. Thus, I extend the notion of “terroir” to include the human aspect, not just the soils, climate and weather. As much as I possibly can, I’d rather work with a handshake instead of a legal contract, mutual respect in place of greed for another dollar. I do not agree that “bigger is better” and I certainly do not think that I know it all. What I can promise is to put my best efforts to grow and seek the highest-quality grapes I can and make wines that reflect my love for the little things that matter in life.

Welcome to the tribe.

WHITE WINES

We make a Sauvignon Blanc in a style that bridges the austere minerality of French Sancerre with the lush fruitiness of New Zealand.  A portion of the wine is barrel-fermented and aged, contributing a 'brushstroke" of vanilla flavor to our wine.

We make one single-vineyard Chardonnay from fruit grown by the Rochioli family (my neighbors on Westside road). The fruit is all clone 76 and the wine is 100% barrel-fermented in French oak barrels.

SPARKLING WINES

Méthode Champenoise is the traditional method used to bottle-ferment great sparkling wines. Ours is a unique labor of love; we ferment all of our base wines in clean, old, neutral French-oak barrels.  This practice requires extra care and vigilance but the result is a Brut and a Brut Rosé like no other; fresh and creamy on the palate with layered and complex aromas and flavors that lead to a bone-dry and lengthy finish.

Pinot Noir

I have made Pinot Noir in California every year but once since 1986 (Hey, I worked in Bordeaux in 1987!). Rather than chase the big, super-extracted California "fruit-bombs", I make a Pinot Noir that celebrates layering.  A great Pinot Noir (from any region) is a wine that should sing on your palate, tiptoeing on your taste buds, teasing you with layer upon layer of nuance and finishing with enough acidity to give it length and longevity.

Merlot, Malbec &
Cabernet Sauvignon


Full-bodied but elegant, with enough tannins to provide a solid backbone of red and blue fruit flavors.  We make a single-vineyard Merlot from our estate, a pure Malbec from select barrels and two Cabernet Sauvignons from hillsides in the area.  We like to drink these with a bit of age, when tannins have softened and some of the earthy tones have a chance to integrate with the fruit flavors.

SYRAH

The "Raison D'etre" of Longboard Vineyards.  This variety, believed to have been brought by Roman troops to the Rhône region of France is one that baffles most budding wine aficionados.  We affectionatly call it the "misunderstood variety" because we often find ourselves having to explain why we  chose to make five different Syrah wines.

Syrah grows well and yields good-sized crops in many climates. However it is only in cool climates that the resulting wines are layered and age-worthy.  The beauty of Syrah lies in how complex it tastes with only 3 or 4 years of ageing, something Cabernets reach after 10 years.

We currently make five different Syrah wines from a few choice locations in the county.

Dakine Syrah from our own Estate Vineyard, Goosechase Syrah from a hillside in Chalk Hill, Ledbetter Syrah from a hillside south of Healdsburg, The RRV sSrah (blend of all lots) and the "Savage Coast" Syrah, a barrel selection from two vineyards.

 

 

We also make a dessert wine, a Late Harvest Semillon, in years when the variety is naturally infected with the "Noble Rot".

Here is a link to our current releases.