Few winemakers have worked with cool climate California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay longer than Ken Foster. From David Bruce Winery in the ocean cooled Santa Cruz Mountains to Carneros Wine Company in the wind-swept Carneros appellation, Ken has studied a vast array of Pinot clones. the terroir they are grown in, and how the two will combine to express themselves in the wines he produces.
As early as the 1970s Carneros became known as a source of terrific Pinot Noir, and was one of the first California regions to gain such a reputation. The combination of sunny days, cooling fog and thin clay soils are tailor-made for the variety. Another factor in Pinot Noir’s prominent place here is vintners’ willingness to experiment widely. The history of the grape in Carneros is marked by continuous research into clonal variations, viticultural techniques and site selection. Careful evaluation over time has revealed a signature flavor profile as well. Complex aromas and flavors of cherry, red berry, spice, earth and cola appear time and again in Carneros Pinot Noir. To this day the appellation remains one of California’s standard bearers for the variety.