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Baker Lane Estate Vineyard Syrah 2009
Nothing then was particularly exotic about planting vines in this part of West Sonoma County, that is planting Pinot Noir. Syrah and Viognier though were something of a different story. But, if there is anything about the unfolding narrative of California viticulture, it’s an ever-evolving picture. There are many sites now planted to grapes that would have been unthinkable 25 years ago. Similarly, as winegrowers seek to cultivate fruit with more precise flavors, acid retention and overall balance, the decision to push the envelope climatically becomes a natural choice.
Just as European winemakers have long championed the distinction of their terroir, we in California are legitimately celebrating their own sense of place. The vivid expression of vineyard character that cooler viticultural sites avails has driven this opportunity more than any other factor. Through 10 harvests we’re gratified to gather the consistent detail and character of their wines. Just as a child has to grow up a bit to reveal its personality, the accumulating collection of flavors presented by our family of wines is helping them know what their working with, and in turn constantly sharpening our approach to the care of the vines. It’s an exciting process to sustainably nurture our grapes and direct them in to the bottle. We hope that the fruit of our efforts is delicious for you as well.
A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties—they cover nearly double the vineyard acreage compared to whites.
While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.
Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates with vineyards climbing up mountains, reaching far into valleys and stretching along some the state’s most dramatic coastlines. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon do well in its warmer locations.
Winemaking in California dates back to the 18th century when Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes. But the industry experienced its first boom with the Gold Rush in the last half of the 19th century when miners brought vines to the Sierra Foothills.