Navarro tends vineyards in numerous microclimates within Anderson Valley. Our newest vineyards are in Boonville, about ten miles from our Philo plantings. Boonville experiences less influence from the ocean than Philo as it is further inland. During the winter the nights are colder, and during the summer daytime temperatures are warmer with considerably less fog, but all of our Pinot Gris is grown in the Philo end of our paradise. Navarro's oldest vineyards are on the valley floor, three miles north of Philo; the elevation is between 250 and 350 feet above sea level and the ocean influence is omnipresent. About twenty years ago we decided to plant vines in the hills above the valley floor at elevations between 900 and 1,300 feet. Here the ocean influence is strongest with cooler daytime summer temperatures and balmier summer nights. These vineyards have the longest growing season of all our sites and are the last to ripen Gris. Fruit from Valley Foothills Vineyard on the Philo valley floor was harvested on September 1 and constitutes forty percent of this year's Gris. Grapes from the Middle Ridge Pinot Gris plantings on the hills at 1,000 feet elevation ripened later, almost two weeks after the valley fruit.
Valley Foothill's grapes are grown right next door to Navarro. Casey's well-tended Pinot Gris blends seamlessly with the grapes from our Middle Ridge, although he is pictured here with his equally beautiful Gewürz.
Navarro's Middle Ridge Pinot Gris during a spring sunset. Sited on a ridge at an elevation of one thousand feet, this field is heavily influenced by the daily ocean breezes wafting off the chilly Humboldt current. The ocean temperature off the Mendocino coast is frequently ten degrees cooler than the waters off San Francisco.
The grapes from both pickings were destemmed without the use of SO2, then the juice was fermented and aged six months sur lie in refrigerated French oak casks. Rich and oily with mineral notes and touches of walnuts and dried mangoes, it pairs beautifully with a chicken or turkey waldorf salad. Silver Medal winner.
Jim, Navarro's winemaker, hooking up a pump to a six-hundred-gallon oak oval. Navarro's ovals feature refrigerated stainless steel panels inside so that we can precisely control the temperature during fermentation and the eight months of aging sur lie.