Picket Fence also reunites old friends, vineyard manager Pete Opatz and winemaker Don Van Staaveren, two wine legends who have crafted some of Sonoma County's most highly acclaimed wines. Pete brings intimate knowledge of the Russian River appellation and cultivates flavorful grapes that fully express the exceptional characteristics found in our Picket Fence vineyards. Don blends these grapes to reveal their true essence, creating luscious wines with the classic Russian River profile of richness and balance.
Created in small lots, Picket Fence Chardonnay and Pinot Noir celebrate our passion for the Russian River Valley and our sentiment that wine is a way of bringing family and friends together. View all Picket Fence Wines
About Russian River
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.
Notable FactsThe 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.
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.