In 2011, the Russian River Valley growing season was very challenging, with cold spring temperatures and unprecedented rains that continued throughout the summer. Some precipitation lingered into early fall, but strong Pacific Coast winds quelled our concerns, dissipating the rain and ushering in warmer weather for harvest. Despite the challenges, our wines are displaying enchanting aromas, excellent natural acidity and ripe fruit flavors.
MacMurray Ranch Winery
MacMurray Ranch was purchased from the Porter family by famed actor Fred MacMurray in 1941. Fred raised his family on the ranch and they enjoyed the natural wonders of Sonoma County. Today, the ranch looks much as it did a century ago, surrounded by rail fences and framed by oak and redwood groves. Only now it is home to some of Sonoma County's finest vineyards. Aside from being beautiful, the Russian River Valley is among the premier growing regions for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. MacMurray Ranch speaks to the legacy of the land by crafting wines from this appellation with elegance and finesse.
The wines of MacMurray Ranch are crafted with care by winemaker Susan Doyle, who has a patient, gentle approach that gets the best out of Pinot Noir and its cousin Pinot Gris. Susan is guiding the wines of MacMurray Ranch to achieve both depth and the finely nuanced range of flavors that expresses the nature of the place where they were born. With her university studies in both winegrowing and winemaking, Susan makes wines that reflect the old Burgundian sense of "terroir", the special qualities that weather, land, and the hand of man that give her wines their individual distinction.
View all MacMurray Ranch Wines
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
The proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
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.
Great everyday chardonnay! I opened this with friends for dinner the other night and it really impressed. More of the crisp apple style on the nose with a great balance of oak, not too much but just the right amount. The mild acidity made it yummy with our meal. I will buy again.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.