|Owner(s)||Hank Skewis, Maggie Skewis|
|Link to this site|
Hank Skewis is a veteran of over 25 vintages who honed his winemaking skills at Lambert Bridge in the Dry Creek region of Sonoma County before starting his namesake label with his wife Maggie in 1994. That year, grower Fred Peterson of the Floodgate Vineyard in Anderson Valley (now owned by Goldeneye and renamed) offered Hank three barrels of grapes and Hank released 70 cases. Today, Hank crafts less than 1,000 cases annually of premium Pinot Noir from superb vineyards in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley and Anderson Valley appellations. He works out of a shared crush facility, attempting to keep overhead low to match projected income.
Hank works with growers to restrict yields by winter pruning, spring shoot thinning and summer cluster thinning before veraison. He prefers to limit crop yields to 2 to 2.5 tons per acre. Winemaking is traditional with minimal intervention. Grapes are gently crushed into small bins, fermented warm, pressed into French oak barrels where primary and secondary fermentations are completed. The wines are typically aged in barrel for 18 months, racked for blending, and then racked a second time in preparation for bottling. They are then aged an additional 4 to 6 months in bottle before release.
Skewis wines are available on the website, through a mailing list, fine wine retail stores and restaurants. A small tasting room is located in the historic Roma Station Winery complex at 57 Front Street in Healdsburg. Hours are 11-5 Fri-Sun and by appointment. The charming tasting room was one of the 15 best tasting rooms in Sonoma County according to sonoma.com.
The website has a valuable section about matching Skewis Pinot Noirs with food and cheese. I have had a number of older vintages of Skewis Pinot Noir and I can vouch for their age ability.
In February 2016, it was announced that 2014 would be the final vintage for Skewis Pinot Noir.
2012 Skewis Lingenfelder Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., pH 3.60, 150 cases, $50. Released September 8, 2014. From a 3-acre vineyard west of the town of Fulton. Huichica loam soil typical of this area. Vineyard planted in 1996 and grafted to the Martini clone. Harvest Brix 23.3º. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby color in the glass. Very shy nose with demure aromas of cherry sous-bois and subtle oak. Juicy, mid weight flavors of ripe strawberries, dark cherries and black raspberries. The finish is bright and pleasingly long. Much better on the palate over time in the glass and more showy the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89-90. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Skewis Salzgeber-Chan Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., pH 3.85, 150 cases, $50. Released September 8, 2014. Harvest Brix 24.4º. This 3-acre vineyard was planted in 1997. Dijon clone 115. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby color in the glass. This wine is a cherry bombast with a modest oak overlay on the nose and palate. Very flavorful with remarkable persistence on the finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, more fruit had emerged, some cola and spice showed up, and the wine was more pleasing. Best to cellar this wine a year or so. Score: 90-91. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Skewis Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., pH 3.80, 185 cases, $50. This vineyard was first planted in 1972 in the deep end of the Anderson Valley. Over the years the plantings have increased to 20 acres of Pinot Noir. This wine was made from grapes planted in 1982 and 2002; Pommard and Mt. Eden clones. Harvest Brix 25.0º. Released September 8, 2014. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens gradually to reveal inviting aromas of black cherry, sous-bois and complimentary sweet oak. Very smooth in the mouth with gossamer tannins, offering a joyous mix of black cherry and black raspberry flavors that attack the mid palate with purpose and hold on through a generous finish. A whisper of oak plies the background. Delightful. Score: 91-92. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2009 Skewis Ridley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.8% alc., 125 cases, $42. 3 acres of clone 777 at a low elevation adjacent Boonville. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nose-filling aromas of cherries, strawberries, baking spices and sandalwood. Delicious essence of red cherry and red berry fruits, nicely spiced and framed by sturdy tannins. The purity of the fruit really catches your attention, grabs hold, and clings through the finish which seems to last an eternity. A restrained, elegant wine that is smooth and seductive in the mouth. A winegasm. Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »
2009 Skewis Lingenfelder Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.7% alc., 120 cases, $45. 3-acre vineyard west of the town of Fulton planted in 1996 and grafted to UCD 13 (Martini clone). · Moderately intense reddish-purple color in the glass. Very reserved nose offering little fruit and primarily aromas of oak-driven mocha java. Bing cherry fruit is featured with a strong presence of mocha java flavor and herbal oak that fades over time in the glass. Very soft and seductive in the mouth. This wine is very young and currently steeped in oak which will recede over time in the cellar. Patience is advised. Good. Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »
2009 Skewis Montgomery Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 125 cases, $45. A small, 20(+)-year-old vineyard situated west of Santa Rosa in the Olivet Road area. The clone is undocumented. The area is characterized by poor clay soils and frequent summer fog. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark red berries and cherries, woodshed and spice. Moderately full-bodied core of black cherry flavor with a complimentary hint of oak, dusty tannins, and a dry finish. Although the nose trumps the flavors at this stage, the flavors grow on you over time in the glass. Very good. Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »
2007 Skewis Reserve Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., pH 3.52, 150 cases, $50. To be released in the fall 2010. Final release from the formerly named Floodgate Vineyard. Located at the far western end of the Anderson Valley exposing it to a strong maritime influence with frequent summer fog and wind. The soil is poor leading to low vine vigor. Winemaker Hank Skewis. · The classiest wine in this tasting with impressive long-term potential. Fruits are multi faceted with savory berries, black cherries and plum the most prominent. Notes of loamy earth and dark mocha add interest. The wine has a velvety smooth mouth feel with a well-proportioned tannic backbone for aging. A lithe and dancing Pinot. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »
2006 Skewis Salzberger-Chan Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 200 cases, $42.From a 3-acre vineyard planted in 1997 in the heart of the Russian River Valley appellation. Dijon clone 115. Harvest Brix 24.9º. · Scents of dark cherries, oak char and spearmint. Bright Bing cherry in the mouth with a nice touch of spice. Some oak char carries through in the background but dissipates some with swirling (should integrate with further aging of the wine). Appealing finesse and balance. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Skewis Lingenfelder Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 120 cases, $45. · Attractive aromas of black cherries, citrus and roses. Medium weighted and nicely balanced, the earth-dusted cherry flavors are bright due to lively acidity. Some beet root, plum and oak adds interest. The tannins are fine grained and dry and the finish is uplifting. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Skewis Montgomery Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., 110 cases, $45. From a19-year-old vineyard west of Santa Rosa in the Olivet Road area. Harvest Brix 25.8º. · Dark ruby color. Scents of plum, cedar and spearmint. Darkly fruited with a citrus tang on the finish. A thick and rich wine with noticeable dry tannins. Still brooding and linear and needs more time in the bottle. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Skewis Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 200 cases, $48. · Well-fruited nose smelling of fresh berries with a little grassy note. Red, blue and black berries also lead the flavor parade with some ripe cherries playing a minor role. Very elegant and soft in the mouth with a tangy persistence on the finish. The balance is spot on and this is my favorite of the three 2006 Pinot Noirs. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Skewis Anderson Valley Reserve Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 200 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 23.6º. · Fresh berry compote with a hint of spearmint on the nose. A demure and elegant wine featuring red berries and cherries and a hint of mocha. All velvet in texture. Lacks a little mid palate thrust but is a caressing wine that is easy to like. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Skewis Bush Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., 190 cases, $50. · A cherry-driven wine with a kiss of oak, spice, mint and musk. Dark in color and darkly fruited with notable dry tannins and a good acid lift on the finish. Perfectly fine to drink now, but aging will meld the tannins and soften the wine. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
2003 Skewis Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 170 cases, $35. The Demuth Vineyard consists of 8 acres planted high above the Anderson Valley at an elevation of 1,500 feet. The soil is shallow creating stress for the vines. The clones are primarily Wädenswil. · This is a pretty wine. The aromatics are alive with aromas of spiced cherries and strawberries. The flavors echo the aromas with an added hint of oak. The balance is spot on. This wine drinks elegantly and is the best sipping wine in the 2004 Skewis lineup. Reviewed June 5, 2006
2003 Skewis Salzgeber-Chan Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., 200 cases, $40. The Salzgeber-Chan Vineyard was planted in 1997 and consists of 3 acres of Dijon clone 115 on a north facing hillside with excellent drainage. · A pleasing nose of ripe cherries, spice and toasty oak. Dark fruits dominate the cola tinged flavors. The wine closes with notable green tannins. An elegant style that will benefit from cellaring. Reviewed June 5, 2006
2003 Skewis Bush Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
182 cases, $42. Bush Vineyard is located just northwest of Santa Rosa. The site has cooling summer fog which often persists into the late morning. The vines are clone 115 planted in 1998. · Enticing aromas of cooked cherries, spice and cinnamon. Red fruits, herbs, rhubarb and mushrooms are featured on the palate. This is a lighter-bodied sensuous wine with subtle chewy oak tannins and lively acidity on the clean finish. Needs food. Reviewed June 5, 2006
2003 Skewis Floodgate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., 150 cases, $45. This vineyard is located at the far western or "deep end" of the Anderson Valley. There is a strong maritime influence with frequent summer fog and wind. The soil is fairly poor and the vines struggle. · A light bodied, feminine Pinot Noir. The nose is toasty with plenty of spice and herbal aromas. There are appealing plum and black fruit flavors with a citrus note. The fruit may be a bit austere for some, but the lively acidic edge makes this wine a perfect food companion. A killer with grilled pork tenderloin. Reviewed June 5, 2006