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 Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineries
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
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.