Internationally recognized for gorgeous, pure fruit combined with great elegance, California Pinot noir thrives among the state’s cooler, coastal zones. Characterized by eclectic flavors and aromas of strawberry, black cherry, plum and potpourri with notes of forest floor, mushroom or black tea, the best California Pinot noir boast a supple texture and good acidity, giving them the ability to improve with age.
Credited with the beginning of Pinot noir’s glory in California, two growers, Joe Rochioli and Joseph Swan in the late 1960s independently planted Pinot noir vineyards in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Today Sonoma County remains the leading producer of Pinot noir in the state, and Pinot noir is the leading red grape in the county, achieving its highest potential, in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.
Other coastal appellations where Pinot noir flourishes include Carneros, Anderson Valley and most of the Central Coast.