Download &
print (pdf)

New Pinot Hounds in the Race

Over the past year or two, not a week went by that I didn’t hear of a new producer of Pinot Noir. Part of this has been fueled by the increasing number of custom crush facilities that allow newcomers to make small lots of premium Pinot Noir under the guidance of experienced winemakers (so-called virtual wineries). The most notable example of this is Crushpad in San Francisco. Industrial parks have also been a popular spot for starting up a small winery, allowing producers to concentrate on obtaining quality grapes and investing in top winemaking equipment without the added costs of glamorous winery facilities and tasting rooms. Because of our crummy economy, it is not clear how many of these new hounds will still be in the race in another year or two. List below are the most promising newcomers with only a vintage or two under their collar.


Alysian Wines, Russian River Valley
Asunscion Ridge, Atascadero (Paso Robles AVA)
Big Basin Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
Black Ridge Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
Bohemian Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
C. Donatiello, Russian River Valley
Canihan Family Cellars, San Francisco
Chronicle Wines, Sonoma
Couloir Wines, Anderson Valley
Dragonette Cellars, Sta. Rita Hills
EnRoute, Russian River Valley
Expression Wines, Napa Valley
Fog Crest Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Freestone Vineyards
Grey Stack Cellars
Heart O’ The Mountain, Santa Cruz Mountains
LIOCO Winery, Russian River Valley
Loos Family Winery, Russian River Valley
Lucienne, Santa Lucia Highlands
Périple Wines, Idaho, grapes sourced from California and Oregon
Pfendler Vineyards, Sonoma Mountain
Prodigal Wines, Sta. Rita Hills
Richard Berridge Wines
Salinia Wine Company, Russian River Valley
Sequana Vineyards, Russian River Valley
Seawind Wines, San Francisco
Silver Wines, Santa Barbara County
SPELL Wines, Russian River Valley
Three Saints Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley
Truett Hurst, Dry Creek Valley
Valerie’s Vineyard, Carneros
Waits-Mast Family Cellars, San Francisco
Waxwing Wine Cellars, San Mateo County


Arterberry Maresh, Dundee Hills
Barking Frog Winery, Yamhill-Carlton District
Evening Land Vineyards, Oregon and California
Johan Vineyards, Willamette Valley
Kelley Fox Wines, Yamhill Carlton District
iOTA Cellars, Eola-Amity Hills
Lenné Estate, Yamhill-Carlton District
Longplay, Chehalem Mountains
Roots Wines & Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton District
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery, Dundee Hills

Print entire newsletter