Gap’s Crown Vineyard: With elevations reaching 1,200 feet, this steep and sloping site really makes the vines struggle for nutrients. That, combined with the blustery winds, actually thickens the skins on the Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes. Thicker skins result in a bigger bodied wine with more tannic structure. Usually when you find a Gap’s Crown Pinot noir, you will be drinking a full-bodied, deep ruby and purple colored wine. Suggested single vineyard wines: Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir, Trombetta Pinot Noir, WALT Wines Pinot Noir, Kosta Brown Pinot Noir, MacPhail Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, Guarachi Family Pinot Noir.
Griffin’s Lair Vineyard: Griffin’s Lair Vineyard is located on a wind-swept hill in the Petaluma Gap, in the southernmost part of the Sonoma Coast AVA. Their focus is premium Pinot noir and Syrah, and “to make wine in the vineyard.” This involves producing the highest quality fruit, and working with winemakers whose passion is handcrafted wines that are a clear expression of the grapes, the site, and the soils. Suggested single vineyard wines: Kosta Browne Pinot Noir, Loxton Cellars Syrah, Wind Gap Pinot Noir & Syrah, Arnot Roberts Syrah, Bedrock Wines Syrah, Pax Syrah.
Keller Estate Vineyards (La Cruz Vineyard): The majority of the La Cruz Vineyard resides on the lower hills of the property. The soil is multi-layered, mineral-laden clay that was once San Pablo Bay sea bed. This mineral character comes through in all of the wines and is very much a part of Keller Estate’s unique terroir. The Pinot noirs are very expressive, with beautiful aromatics and great structure that shines through. Suggested single vineyard wines: Keller Estate Rosé, Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Gris, Keller Estate Brut-Bubbles, and Keller Estate El Coro Pinot Noir.
Rodgers Creek Vineyard: Rodgers Creek Vineyard is well suited for Pinot noir, sitting high on a ridge and taking the full brunt of wind and thick fog that define this cool climate zone. The vines grow in light, chalky volcanic ash soils on steep inclines. This causes natural vine stress and gives the wine high concentration levels. The combination of unique soils and dominance of the Pommard Pinot noir clone results in distinctive wines with signature aromatic notes of earth and mushroom. Suggested single vineyard wines: Ramey Syrah, Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir, Garnet Vineyards Pinot Noir.
Sangiacomo Vineyard, Roberts Road: This vineyard is situated on Roberts Road at the western base of Sonoma Mountain. The vine rootstock is in an old creek bed, and thus deeper loam soils. Climate is key to this vineyard’s ability to produce noteworthy Pinot noir and Chardonnay wines. Cool ocean breezes and Petaluma Gap fog keep the heat in check and allow for long hang time while retaining natural acidity. Suggested single vineyard wines: Sojourn Cellars produces both a Pinot noir and a Chardonnay from this vineyard, MacPhail Pinot Noir, La Follette Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.
Sun Chase Vineyard: This vineyard produces wines with complexity and earthiness in the flavors and aromas. There is an excellent natural structure from the vineyard’s elevation, and wines showcase ripe tannins from the higher skin-to-juice ratio. Wines from this vineyard display lovely concentration of flavors and length on the finish. Suggested single vineyard wines: Guarachi Family Pinot Noir, Bevan Cellars Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir, Fogline Vineyards Pinot Noir, Tamber Bey Pinot Noir, Pellet Estate Chardonnay, Agnitio Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.
Wind to Wine Tasting Event
The Petaluma Gap is launching its inaugural consumer wine tasting event this summer on Saturday, August 8th, at the Sheraton Sonoma County in Petaluma. This event will be a wonderful way for wine lovers to explore this complex region and find out for themselves what sets it apart from the rest of the Sonoma Coast. VIP tickets are the way to go. With these tickets, event-goers will be able to discover the nuances in the vineyard sites at a wine seminar, followed by a buffet lunch and early access to the grand tasting event.
Purchase Tickets: http://petalumagap.com
It will be fascinating not only to explore this wine region as it begins its quest for AVA status, but also to sample the wines and find out why winemakers all around Northern California believe that the wines coming from here possess the perfect recipe for intense, well-balanced wines with character and distinction. If you are interested in purchasing wines from the Petaluma Gap, since most of these wineries are small producers, it is best to visit their websites and join their mailing lists.