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O’Connell Vineyards is located in the Vine Hill region of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. The owners are Jan and Dan O’Connell. The O’Connell family has been producing apples in Sebastopol since 1913. In 2002, Jan and Dan planted Pinot Noir to the rich Goldridge soil of their Vine Hill Road ranch. In 2006, they harvested their first vintage and produced 300 cases of Pinot Noir, along with a small lot of a crisp, dry Pinot Noir Rosé.
Mat Gustafson is the winemaker. He learned the art of crafting fine wines under the guidance of Merry Edwards, and emphasizes low input winemaking, which allows the wine to slowly and naturally develop its inherent fruit characteristics. Mat is the head winemaker for Dutton Estate Winery and also produces exceptional quality wines for his own label, Paul Mathew Vineyards. Prior to becoming a winemaker, Mat was the Sommelier for the Flagstaff Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado then the Wine Buyer and Sommelier at John Ash & Co in Santa Rosa, California. He further expanded his expertise by owning and operating a vineyard development company in the Russian River Valley.
The O'Connells offer their Vine Hill House Event Center for special events in wine country.
The wines have Northern California retail distribution and are sold on the website.
2006 O’Connell Vineyards Estate Grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 268 cases, $42.50. 100% Pommard clone. 100% de-stemmed, sur lie aged in barrel for 10 months. · Light crimson color. Reserved scents of cherries, Provencal herbs and new oak. Red-fruited with savory herbal tones. Smoothly textured and elegant with supple tannins and a leafy-flavored finish. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »
2006 O’Connell O’Connell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $43. · Showy black cherry and black current aromas with a hint of sherry. A strange wine with stemmy fruit, oak, and medicinal (iodine) flavors. Soft in the mouth with fine tannins. With air, port flavors emerge. Disappointing. ? bad, oxidized bottle. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »