2018 Pinot Noir “Home Vineyard”


Production: 1008 bottles (84 cases). Alcohol: 12.8%.






After the brief break from the extended drought provided by 2017, 2018 blessed us with nearly 50″ of rain, here in North Yuba, which is near our “normal” amount.

At the time of release (January 2023), the wine appears very friendly and accessible by our standards. In terms of its balance and vintage character, this one shows a similarity to the 2000.

Aging notes: As a general rule, our Pinots tend to take their time in the cellar, slowly making their way towards their ultimate fully-expanded older phase. Sometimes (2007, 2008) they show well throughout the whole process; some vintages (2010, 2013) seem all smily and cheerful early on, then proceed to tighten up again after a few years, while others (2001, 03, 12) are just grumpy and unyielding for the first few (occasionally, many) years of their lives. They all eventually come to their own at some point at 8-12 years of age. To reach the stage that in our view would be called “real” full maturity, you would have to be a bit more patient, as they mostly take 15-20 year to get there. This 2018, however, falls comfortably in non of these categories. It has the charm of the first group, but in a more elegant version, and with a lighter frame.

About the terroir: Our 2-1/2 acre “Home Vineyard” is north-east facing, at 1530-1600 ft altitude. The top soil is alluvial clay-loam on volcanic ash, fractured granite, and quartz sub layers. Untypically to this area, which tends to be steep and extremely rocky, this site is gently sloped and with few rocks to be found. It is also unusually cool in the context of the Sierra Foothills AVA, providing the required climatic conditions for successful Pinot production. The vineyard was planted (own-rooted, 3×6′ spacing) in 1979/80 and 1999, using as many clones – known and unknown – as we could lay our hands on, plus a handful of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay vines just for fun.  Irrigation is used sparingly (as needed) in the newer blocks, while the older block is dry farmed.

Recent years have brought us extremely challenging climatic conditions: our weather is getting dramatically warmer and dryer, and wild fires are a real threat every season. The vines’ production is now in a declining trend and, with every passing year, our bottled quantity of Home Vineyard is in decline as well.

2018 Vintage specifics:  Production: 1008 bottles (84 cases). Alcohol: 12.8%.