Dan Goldfield


Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, USA

38º25'N 122º48'W

Located west of Santa Rosa and south of Healdsburg, the Russian River Valley is an AVA that forms part of the Sonoma County region in northern California. The trump card for this, the most celebrated of the Sonoma AVAs, is its possession of some particularly cool spots, found mostly near the Pacific Ocean. Here, the effects of the windy valleys and coastal ridge tops combine to make a climate that is positively cold by Californian standards, but ideal for making elegant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

2006 Dylan
Bottle: 750ml
2005 Hugo
Bottle: 750ml

Typically, the region experiences foggy mornings followed by warm days before the fog returns in the afternoons with cooling breezes. These are conditions that allow the grapes to develop slowly, retaining high natural acidity at full physiological ripeness. This slow development of grapes over a long growing season is the hallmark of many of the world's elite wine regions.

The 1990s saw an increasing number of premium wineries emerge in this region of western Sonoma, and it is now California's top spot for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In particular, new vineyard plantings in sites that were previously considered too cool for grapes have proved to be a great success, resulting in wines displaying freshness, complexity and elegance.