Great sites, thoughtful farming, and a non-interventionist winemaking approach drive the wines.  All are informed by many years in the vineyard. There is no manipulation of the wine through additions, which allows for a more transparent impression of place and vintage. Our focus is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the North Coast with some Grenache and others mixed in for good measure. All French cooperage is used for the barrel fermentation of the Chardonnays, and for the ageing of all of our wines. The Pinot Noirs are fermented with whole berries, in open top fermenters with no punchdowns or pumpovers.  All native fermentations. The wines are left to rest over the second winter and bottled after approximately 16 months total.  During that time the wines are undisturbed and unstirred on their lees, being racked only once after being selected for, and just prior to, bottling.  It is a very old method of making wine, and follows the greatest of traditions.

Region: Sonoma County  |  Winemakers: Jason Kesner  |  url:

2013 Rockbreak Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Cool Pacific winds and fogs flow over a rich dark loam, peppered by enough cobble to break down any farming implement that dare try to tame it. The fruit for this wine is from the Idell Vineyard that was planted in part for us in Southern Sonoma County. Vines struggle for purchase in the difficult soils. Wet rocks, white citrus shavings and early spring fruit blooms. Tones of lightly grilled Meyer lemons and fresh creme. A medium-full yet crisp body, the paradox, or better yet the balance, that I always look for in this wine. Green orchard fruit flesh, brightly threaded with harmonious acids, that lend to a racy, lingering finish. Native fermentation in barrel, whole cluster pressed, no cold settling, no racking, no battonage. Natural acids, no new barrels, all French Oak.


2013 Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Farmed by the Bacigalupi family since 1956 and the source of a major component in the Chardonnay that won the historical 1976 tasting in Paris. A red sand graveled knoll where the western hills of the Russian River valley stretch towards the coast. The 2013 exhibits all of the markers of a perfectly balanced Californian Chardonnay. Soft floral tones and creme soaked pears with a hint of honeysuckle and a light chalky sense of minerality lift from the glass. Green and golden orchard fruits threaded with corn silk resonate through the body of the wine, which is luxuriously mouth filling yet poised, and held tight by the well integrated naturally occurring acids. Native fermentation in barrel. Aged in same barrels, 30% newer French Oak, 16 months sur lie.


2013 GATE Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Two sites lend their coastal characters to this effort. Both buffeted by the seaborne cooling winds and fogs of the Pacific, planted on ancient coastal soils and selected for their regional personalities. Cool climate Pinot Noir that retains all of the beauty of the varietal.

A bit more forward, and elegant than the 2012. Perfume of pomegranate, fresh picked red and black raspberries and lightly crushed violets. Background hints of redwood forest floor, and graphite shavings. Well structured, with natural acids that are perfectly integrated and that lend a great backbone to this wine. Elegant, lengthy, silken finish.
-Native fermentation
-Fermented and aged in barrel sur lie, 11 months
-Francois Frères cooperage, 20% new
-Natural acids


2013 Vadim’s Watch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

From the Terra De Prommisio Vineyard, and the wonderful family that farms it. Named for the Russian grandfather, who traded tank for plow, and now oversees the vines on this small plot in the Petaluma Gap. Stunning perfume of fresh picked dark red and black raspberry, crushed blueberries, bled pomegranate and violets. Light spices with a hint of briar patch and redwood forest floor. Full in the mouth, yet more elegant and more mineral influenced than the 2012, speaking of primary fruit with an impeccable, vibrant acidity. A wonderfully balanced, structured wine with a lasting, delicate finish. Native yeast fermentation. Whole berry fermentation. No pumpovers or punchdowns, only very light mixing of the cap during fermentation. Cool ferment. Only free run juice used, no pressing. Aged in 25% newer French Oak, sur lie for 16 months.


2014 Kesner Kings Russian River Pinot Noir

The King family vineyard, farmed by Lee Martinelli JR, is a little Pinot Noir jewel in the midst of a sea of Chardonnay that I stumbled upon in 2012. I knew there was something different to be done with it as a wine. It would be easy to make it into a darker, heavier, more typical Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, but I’m trusting of harvesting it when the acids are bright, with a focus on retention of the delicate esters and characters. A Pinot Noir that speaks to the feminine side of the varietal. The vineyard sits on a sandy loam where the Santa Rosa plain meets the Laguna Ridge. Crushed rose petals, pomegranate, loganberry, tea leaves, slight earthen tones and a hint of dustiness on the nose that will translate to a Redwood forest floor like patina over time. A luxurious mid-weight yet very well structured mouthfeel with a finish that lasts, and lingers. Will really open with a little time in the glass. Native fermentation, whole berry, no cold soak and only lightly mixed, no punchdowns or pumpovers. Only free run juice, no pressing. Aged in 10% newer Francois Frères cooperage, sur lie for 16 months.