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Elite California Pinot Noir Vineyards Part III

“There are special California vineyards that have proven over time to possess exceptional terroir for Pinot Noir.”

This issue is Part III or the third of a three-part article devoted to what I consider Elite California Pinot Noir Vineyards.

As domestic Pinot Noir has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past three decades and the consumer has become more knowledgeable about Pinot Noir, there has been an increasing emphasis on vineyard sources. Unlike Burgundy, where vineyards receive top billing on wine labels, in California the producer receives preeminence on wine labels.

My listing of California Pinot Noir vineyards considered “Elite" is based on twenty years of my reviews from every notable Pinot Noir vineyard in California. I have provided detailed information on each Elite California Pinot Noir vineyard. This compilation is meant to serve as a valuable resource for Pinot Noir enthusiasts as well as a reliable guide for Pinot Noir purchases.

I have chosen the word Elite to signify the finest or the best of their kind. I leave the Grand Cru designation to the French because their classification is based on primarily geological and climatic conditions while my classification is based on the quality of wines consistently originating in a special vineyard.

Outline of Elite California Pinot Noir Vineyards: Part III - Central Coast

Santa Cruz Mountains

    Lester Family Vineyard

    Mount Eden Estate Vineyard

    Rhys Alpine Vineyard

    Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard

    Windy Oaks Estate Schultze Family Vineyard

Santa Lucia Highlands

    Garys’ Vineyard

    Morgan Double L Vineyard

    Pisoni Estate Vineyard

    Tondré Grapefield

Sta. Rita Hills

    Domaine De La Côte

    Clos Pepe Vineyard

    Fe Ciega Vineyard

    Fiddlestix Vineyard

    Sanford & Benedict Vineyard

    Sea Smoke Vineyard

Other Central Coast appellations

    Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley

    Calera Jensen Vineyard, Mt. Harlan

    Hoffman Mountain Ranch Vineyard, Adelaida Hills

    Rosemary’s Vineyard, Arroyo Grande

    Solomon Hills Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley

If you stock your wine cellar with Pinot Noirs from these vineyards made by the featured producers, I guarantee you would have a wine cellar to not only brag about but one that will bring you years of marvelous drinking pleasure.

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