In the 1990s, Steve discovered an amazing mountainside ranch possessing spartan volcanic soils over fractured andesite, located in the western borderlands of Carneros. This ranch enjoyed a unique microclimate that Steve believed would be ideally suited to producing profound Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. In 1997, inspired by a desire to cultivate his own great piece of land, Steve's adventurous spirit led him to enter into a partnership with Nancy and Tony Lilly to develop Wildcat Mountain Vineyard from this unplanted pastureland.
Steve handpicked Kevin Holt as his successor to take over winemaking responsibilities for MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in 2004. A gifted winemaker who has worked at such wineries as Quivira and Testarossa Vineyards, Kevin continues Steve's 20-year legacy for producing outstanding wines from the finest Carneros and Sonoma Coast fruit. View all Macrostie Wines
About CarnerosView a map of Carneros wineries
Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Notable FactsBoth Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.