Pinot Hill Vineyard

An aerial view of our estate vineyard, Pinot Hill.

Location: Sebastopol

Wines Produced:
Pinot Hill, Pinot Hill East, Pinot Hill West, Pinot Hill Cruz, Pinot Hill Elite

Goldridge Sandy Loam underlain with Los Osos Clay

Sonoma Coast, Sebastopol Hills

Average Temp During Growing Season:
Daytime: 77.5°F ~ Nighttime: 47.7°F

Clones planted:
4, 5, 115, 667, 777, 828, Elite, Cruz

Acres planted: 30.68

Elevation: 292’ above sea level

Grade of slopes: ± 10.2%

About This Site

Pinot Hill is the younger of our two vineyards, and the smaller at 30 planted acres. As the name suggests this is a very steep vineyard, rising in elevation from 100 to 300 feet with 10-15% grades and ensuring good drainage which is so important for quality Pinot Noir. We proudly dry farm in this vineyard as well. 

Planted in 2008, Pinot Hill lies in the Sebastopol Hills area of the Sonoma Coast AVA—at the Northern edge of the Petaluma Wind Gap area. This is where the fog first penetrates inland from the Pacific in the late afternoon, and the last place it burns off in the morning. As a result, the vineyard is generally bathed in sunlight for only a few hours in the early afternoon; the rest of the day it is covered in fog. Because of this, Pinot Hill is often up to 10°F cooler than Hallberg Ranch, and is consistently harvested later. 

With its steep slopes, Goldridge sandy loam and very cool climate, Pinot Hill tends to produce darker colors and higher acidity. The cooler temperatures lengthen the growing season, allowing the grapes to retain acids while also encouraging the vines to keep their berries and clusters small and concentrated. Because of the long growing season, the tannins in the fruit tend to be finer in style. 

There is also a distinct difference between the fruit on the eastern and western slopes. The eastern slope is a cooler-climate wine due to receiving fog cover from the morning sun, resulting in wine that is lighter in color and higher in acid. By the afternoon that fog has usually burnt off, bathing the western slope in sunlight and cultivating a darker flavor. It’s such a vivid example of the land shaping the finished wine that in 2016 we began bottling Pinot Hill East and Pinot Hill West separately, in addition to our classic Pinot Hill wine.

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