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Steele and Shooting Star Wines was founded in 1991. Prior to that time, winemaker/owner Jed Steele was the founding winemaker, general manager, and VP of Production at Kendall Jackson for the first nine vintages of that company. Prior to his adventures at Kendall Jackson, Jed worked for 10 years for Edmeades, then a small independent winery in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, as winemaker and vineyard manager. Jed began working in the wine business at Stony Hill Winery in the Napa Valley in 1968.
From mid-1991 until mid-1996, Steele Wines co-leased a small winery in Lake County. In June of 1996, Jed purchased the old Konocti Winery between Lakeport and Kelseyville in Lake County. The winery is located on Highway 29, exactly one hour driving time from downtown Calistoga, driving north-northwest, 45 minutes directly east of Hopland in Mendocino County, and one and a half hours from Santa Rosa, driving north-northeast.
Steele produces a Carneros Pinot Noir and several vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs from Parmalee Hill Vineyard (Carneros), Sangiacomo Vineyard Carneros, Bien Nacido Vineyard (Santa Maria Valley), Durell Vineyard (Carneros), and Goodchild Vineyard (Santa Barbara County). Annual production of all wines is 70,000 cases per year. The wines are sold on the website.
2007 Steele Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
8,000 cases, $22. · Veers to the ripe side but offers a mouth coating load of spicy fruits with accents of brown sugar and root beer. The tannins are reserved and there is a pleasing lift of citric peel acidity on the finish. A good value wine. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »
2006 Steele Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $17.50. · Plenty of oak char and smoke create a stinky nose. Smoked and roasted black cherry and raspberry fruit with a slightly hot finish. Only for those with a fire and smoke fetish. Barely passable. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Steele Bien Nacido Vineyards Block N Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $26. · Noticeable chocolate in the nose, perfectly fine red fruit flavors, a soft texture and a good food wine. A little shallow on the back end. Reviewed August 24, 2007 ARTICLE »