Saturday, February 20, 2016

Landmark Pinots Climb Out from Chard's Shadow

It's easy for a winery to have one varietal seem to make its reputation. Take Sonoma's Landmark Vineyards, which, since 1974, has been making a range of whites and reds. In 1997 its Overlook Chardonnay, originally overseen by the famed Helen Turley, won a coveted spot in the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of the year--it would do so five more times. No doubt its Pinot was envious.

Tasting with Landmark at World of Pinot Noir's Saturday Pinot Noir by the Sea Tasting is a chance for wine lovers to rectify that misperception. "We selected a few of our favorite wines for World of Pinot Noir that reflect our diversity in sourcing," says Clarence Chia, Vice President of Marketing at FIJI Water, JUSTIN Vineyards & Wine, Landmark Vineyards. "At Landmark Vineyards, we look to unique vineyards in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties for our Pinot Noir. We produce eight different single vineyard Pinot Noirs that represent the best of California."

Four of those Pinots will be on the table:
  • 2014 Overlook Pinot Noir Appellation: Sonoma, Monterey, San Benito
  • 2013 Rayhill Pinot Noir Appellation: Sonoma Coast (single vineyard)
  • 2013 Grand Detour Pinot Noir Appellation: Sonoma Coast
  • 2013 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir Appellation: Santa Maria Valley (single vineyard)
"We love to create wines that showcase the overall diversity of pinot noir in California," Chia explains about Landmark's plan, overseen by winemaker Greg Stach. "Each year we comb the state to gather some of the most exciting vineyards producing Pinot Noir including the Santa Lucia Highlands, Russian River Valley, Santa Maria Valley and Sonoma, where we are located."

That Sonoma site is something (go look at the photos on the website, or stay in the swank Landmark Cottage)--founded by Damaris Deere Ford, the great-great-granddaughter of the John Deere. So you might say farming is in the family.

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