Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer were the first vineyards planted at Navarro and these two varieties still account for the majority of our production. Our aim has always been to produce the best wine possible from our vineyards and sell the wine directly to the consumer to keep our prices moderate. The goal was to enjoy raising a family, tending our vines and perfecting our craft. Today, mega-wineries with umpteen brands from many countries virtually control wine distribution and the majority of small family wineries that blossomed in the last 40 years have been gobbled up by conglomerates.
The French word Pinot means pine and attests to Pinot Noir having tight, pinecone-shaped clusters. In this cluster, the larger berries have two seeds and the smaller berries have one seed. The clusters are small, about a quarter pound, and Anderson Valley Pinot Noir's selling price equates to about 50 cents per cluster.
Harvesting Pinot Noir under lights pre-Covid. Cold grapes facilitate a long, slow fermentation, so since the 1980s we harvest at night. Nighttime temperatures during harvest in Mendocino are cold, frequently dropping to the 30s and 40s. In 2018, we were harvesting Pinot Noir in one field and near dawn, we had to frost protect another field.
We feel fortunate about the road we took and the many wine friends that have supported us along the way. The payoff for our friends is a great price for this Pinot Noir by purchasing it directly. Produced from well-tended vines, fermented using pigeage and aged in French oak barrels—25% new—this 94-point Pinot is priced at only $31.50 in a 12-bottle case. Wine Enthusiast magazine recently reviewed the wine: “Deep in flavor and rich in texture, this medium- to full-bodied wine overflows with black cherry, black tea and cedar flavors that mingle nicely, creating complexity and extending into a long finish. Best through 2026. 94 points.” Yep, it's that good! Platinum Medal winner.