- 100% Pinot Noir
This family run winery was established in 1993 by husband and wife team Ted and Heidi Lemon. Ted began his career in Burgundy after earning an oenology degree at the Université de Dijon in 1981. He has worked for some top Burgundian estates, such as Roumier, Bruno Clair and Domaine Dujac. Ted’s skills earned him a position as winemaker and vineyard manager of Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault, being the first American ever to do so in Burgundy! Heidi’s path to farming was inspired after living and working in Germany following college, and her subsequent work at several wineries in California, including Robert Long Vineyards and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.
In 1992, the Lemons set out to look for the best spot to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which they believe is along the littoral (coastal) zones of the continent. They looked along the west coast, from Seattle to Santa Barbara, and finally found their spot in the ‘true’ north coast of California - the coastal mountains of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. The varied soils and warm climate with cooling fog provide the ideal environment to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
All the vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2001. The Lemons will not be seeking certification because they believe that the true motivation for engaging in sustainable farming should not be for marketing purposes, but for the good of the land, for the people that work it, and also for future generations.
There is minimal intervention in the winemaking, which takes place in Littorai’s new winery, built in 2008. Ambient yeasts and lactic acid bacteria carry out the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. They do not use fermentation aids, enzymes, or add acidity. All the Chardonnays are barrel fermented and the Pinot Noirs are fermented in traditional open top fermenters, with some portion of whole bunches.
The wines are elegant, showing finesse rather than being full-bodied and over-ripe as with some Californian Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. We have focused on their Sonoma Coast wines, as the cool climate in this beautiful part of California gives wines of superb elegance.