We are thrilled to offer you our Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay and Deep End Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from the textbook perfect vintage of 2018. This was truly one of the best vintages the North Coast of California has experienced in the past 25 years. The winter was abundantly wet, minimal frost, and a harvest, that for most, began after labor day. The fog kept daily highs to just a couple of hours at 80F, then the lows in the low 50s at night. The grapes truly received a long cool growing season that allowed them to come to physiological ripeness at an even tick. This resulted in low alcohols, high acids in the fruit, and incredible purity of fruit flavors. A winemaker’s dream.
As we wait to release our wines until they have some bottle age, much has already been written about the calibur of the 2018 wines. They are sensational.
We are also releasing our 2020 Wiley Vineyard Riesling, this wine is electric and is an early showing of the quality of fruit the 20 vintage provided to those vineyards not affected by the fires during the growing season.
Our fruit is organically farmed by a most talented group of grape growers. We work with small independent growers that live on their vineyards. As the vineyards are essentially an extension of their homes, the fruit we purchase is handled with keen observation and intention as seen translated by the expressive wines.
Our growers are everything to us. Without this caring and nurturing throughout the year, we would not have the core of what makes exceptional wine. The beginning is exceptional fruit.
Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay || Santa Cruz Mountains
Martin Ray befriended Paul Masson, a native Burgundian, originally in the 1900’s. Paul became his mentor over time and they spent many a vintage working together. Martin Ray purchased Masson’s holdings in 1936. The industry was still hurting from prohibition and Masson warned Martin not to buy the business. Martin could not help himself and purchased the holding, then in 1943 sold to Seagrams.
Martin took cuttings from Masson’s vineyards and decided to purchase his own land across the canyon from the Masson property. The cuttings Mason brought back in 1896, as told by Martin Ray, came from Masson’s friend Louis Latour. The Masson derived cuttings are what we today call Mt. Eden selection Chardonnay.
We are inspired by Martin Ray and Paul Masson for their visionary work in the California wine industry. To step foot on the soils that Martin Ray labored over is hard to articulate...we feel lucky and more so honored.
Martin Ray’s son, Peter, tended to the vines for decades. All the while teaching his nephew, Barclay about the vineyard. Today, Barclay stewards the land and has aligned with an impassioned few winemakers that love this place as much as Martin Ray did. Arnot Roberts, Jaimee Motley, Ceritas, and Birichino source from this site.
Rick and Frederic tend to the vines throughout the year. This vineyard is tailor farmed by this team. Even down to tying individual canes with twine to the head stake to create airflow through the canopy of the vines.
//The Wine //
2018 Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay
These 40+ year old Chardonnay vines are head trained and dry farmed creating a most concentrated wine. Planted in decomposed sandstone and schist overlooking Silicon Valley at 1300' elevation.
The expressive nose of this Chardonnay leads with elderflower and lemon verbena. Lemon oil, almond flour, white peach, and wet stone are framed by the signature brininess that Peter Martin Ray exudes.
Neutral oak for 12 months, then stirred and racked to stainless steel barrels for an additional 4 months.
Deep End Pinot Noir || Anderson Valley
//The Story //
Pinot Noir is close to 1,000 years old and very genetically unstable. For this reason, many “clones” of Pinot Noir exist as wells as some mutations such as Pinot gris, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir clones are the same genetically, however the expression of their genes is different, therefore making a vast array of Pinot attributes.
We use a combination of clones from two different sites to make our Pinot Noir as whole as we can. The Pommard clone is the base of our Pinot Noir from Romani vineyard in the Deep End of the valley, planted in 1999, this is the coolest part of the valley most influenced by the Pacific 10 miles away. Pommard is known for having earthy savory aromas. In Califorrnia, we have fruit aromas in abundance. To balance out the California fruit to the Pommard nature we load this fermenter with whole cluster ~45%. The result is a wine with tons of base, rosebalm, flint, and black tea characteristics.
Nash Mill vineyard provides us with some curb appeal with highly aromatic Dijon clones. 667 and 115 provide pinot perfume with sweet herbs, florals, and juicy raspberry and blueberry fruits.
Romani vineyard is owned by the Romani family, with their daughter Juli heading up day to day operations. Roger and Ann purchased the land after coming through Anderson Valley on their honeymoon. They decided to plant the land in 1999 to the Pommard clone of Pinot Noir.
Roger passed this year, we will miss seeing him in the vineyard. We look forward to participating in his legacy at Romani Vineyard.
Wentworth vineyard is owned by Mark and Katie Wentworth, they have transitioned the vineyard to organic farming with a generational plan for this special site. Mark and Katie have a small herd of highland cattle that help build up the vineyard compost in addition to grazing vegetation other animals may overlook. They produce a small amount of grass fed beef for local restaurants. Additionally, they make estate grown wines under the Wentworth label.
//The Wine //
2018 Deep End Pinot Noir
This wine is about Pinot perfume and elegance. 250 cases produced.
The 2018 Pinot Noir shows the benefit Pinot Noir receives from a long cool growing season. The wine is fresh and vibrant with alpine strawberry, raspberry, cocoa, with wild herb and a touch of mineral flint. The palate explodes with succulent blueberry fruit and deepens with notes of black tea.
11 months in 25% new oak with 40% whole cluster
Wiley Vineyard Riesling || Anderson Valley
Ashley looked for 3 years before finding an old vine Riesling vineyard in the coolest part of Anderson Valley, the Deep End. She happened to be reading an Anderson Valley Winegrower’s newsletter and at the end it said in tiny font “OLD VINE RIESLING CALL DERECK”. She did and the rest is a short history, soon to be long.
Our Riesling comes from the Deep End, only 10 miles from the ocean. The Wiley vineyard Riesling was planted in 1976. The block has Muscat capping the end of the Riesling rows, an Alsatian-style treat.
Many varietals grow well in AV with exceptional varietal character showcasing the unique stamp that only Anderson Valley can impart, truly cool and coastal. Some of the earliest plantings in Anderson Valley were Riesling. Today AV has only 25 acres of Riesling across 7 producing vineyards.
We love Riesling because it is a true barometer of the climate and soil the grapes are grown in. Encompassing a kaleidoscope of flavors based on the wine’s origin and the style the wine is made in. Think of Riesling as the swiss army knife of wine, it works with most things.
The Wiley property was named Colson place, founded in 1871 under the Homestead act by the Colson family. Brad researched what grape varieties to plant and was one of the first to plant grapes for wine production in Anderson Valley.⠀
Brad purchased the vineyard in the early 70’s and today he and Dereck Rolffs farm organically. To spend time with Brad is like watching a classic movie, sitting in the best lecture, witnessing a moment in history. Moments with him are special. He is a humble visionary with a sharp mind and quick wit.
The Colson family had cut down many of the redwoods to make way for grazing and orchard years before. Brad noticed other hardwood trees and Douglas Fir growing back, so made it his mission to restore the Redwood groves around the property. ⠀
He plants 5 acre blocks of Redwoods and even irrigates them when young. He knows this is not a one generation goal. In honor of Brad’s efforts, and the man himself, we have a California Redwood on the back of our Riesling label. ⠀
//The Wine //
A note from Ashley:
The morning after we picked Wiley Riesling the sky was orange. California was covered in smoke hovering in the stratosphere so high that it changed the color of the sky, the AQI (this has become common lingo around here) was ok, the inversion layer had given us some suitable air.
As an industry we are learning so much in regards to fires and how smoke taint occurs, what varieties are more susceptible, and how to farm and make wine when these conditions arise.
I had my fill of an exponential learning curve focused on volatile phenols from smoke (what penetrates the skin of the grape and can bring on tainted aromas and rob a wine of flavor).
The juxtaposition of the excitement to bring this fruit in coupled with the fear of what mother nature would bring next bent me. As this perfect fruit went into the press I leaned my head on a tank and couldn’t help but cry. This was my last fruit into the winery in 2020.
2020 has been the most difficult vintage I have worked in 16 vintages. Wiley was my Phoenix in 2020, the wine is immaculate and unscathed by all the chaos that was happening around it.
The aromas jump out of the glass, this wine is incredibly expressive with freesia and jasmine leading.
Nectarine, key lime, and mandarin present themselves on the nose, followed by an extremely concentrated palate that only old vines can bring. The palate is full of lemon curd with pink lady apple juicy acidity. Very textured with a core of minerality.
Riesling & Muscat (~5%) cofermented. Concrete egg fermentation and aging & 1 stainless steel barrel for 6 months, stirred.
This wine reminds me of why I get out of bed in the morning, the 2020 Wiley Riesling exemplifies all the helping hands and caring hearts that showed up in 2020. I can’t help but be emotional about the interconnectedness this wine reminds me of in the world.
As all of these points in time come together in a liquid time capsule in front of me, I am awestruck by the beauty of capturing so many pieces of our living experience in a glass of liquid.
Thank you all for supporting this small wine project.