Sonoma’s Far Coast
We step out of the forest into a glade where light pours through. Ted Lemon has guided me to the top of a hill at 1,200 feet of elevation in The Haven. He has been farming half of this ten-acre property since 2001, using biodynamic methods, and he left half of the land wild.
“This is why it’s called The Haven,” he says of Littorai’s estate vineyard. The surrounding forest and coastal scrub provides animal habitat to foster biodiversity. Behind us, pinot noir, chardonnay, and chenin blanc grow from a mix of shale, iron sands, compressed clay and serpentine.
These hills are part of Sonoma’s coastal mountains, most of which remain covered in conifers, too steep for cultivation. Vineyards have only arrived in the last 30 years, almost all planted in the 1990s or later on the gentler slopes and hilltops. (Until 1994, when Williams Selyem, Kistler and Littorai came knocking, even David Hirsch’s now sought-after fruit was going to Kendall-Jackson for blending.)
To keep reading this article, you’ll have to purchase a copy of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s current edition: Fall 2015. Inside you’ll find a special focus on Classic Wines – past, present, and future. The issue includes a look at already recognized classics, like older Napa Cabernet, the Douro, or Bordeaux, as well as emerging classics, like Tasmania, Leyda, or, as in my article shown above, Sonoma’s far coast pinot.
It’s also exciting to say that Gerald Asher picked up his pen to contribute to the Fall issue. He’s my wine writing hero. I couldn’t be more excited than appearing in the same magazine as him.
For more information on the current edition of Wine & Spirits check it out here: http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/S=0/subscriptions/entry/fall-2015