In 2016 we fermented and aged forty-two different lots of Pinot Noir from vineyards in Philo and Boonville. Each vintage brings subtle changes between our fields so early in the year, following harvest, we begin tasting all forty-plus wines in order to rank the different lots from that vintage by overall quality. After the wines have been ranked, we start blending trials in June for Navarro's three Pinot Noir bottlings. The first series of tastings is to select our Deep End Blend
, followed by tastings for the Méthode à l'Ancienne
cuvée and this bottling, which we simply label Anderson Valley
. We typically have a couple of remaining lots that don't make the grade that we sell off as bulk wine. Although we work hard to taste for differences in the wines from different fields, clones and rootstocks, in reality these 100% Anderson Valley Pinot Noir wines taste a lot more alike than different. Forty lots were produced from grapes we grow, and two lots—about half of this bottling—were produced from grapes grown by our next-door neighbor in Philo.
Pickers and Pinot Noir clusters on the vine. Note the leaves on the ground. Preceding the picker crew is a smaller crew of deleafers whose job it is to expose the fruit for easy and speedy picking.