At Lattanzio Wines, we purposefully seek out a handful of unique, cool climate vineyards on the West coast and handcraft small lots of wine from those vineyards. The vineyards we work with must be meticulously maintained, dedicated to sustainable farming, naturally low yielding and possess that “sense of place”. Only the right combination of geographical location, soil, aspect, varietal/clone selection and sustainable farming practices makes a vineyard suitable for our program.
Umino Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
David Umino is a third generation farmer who took a 33 year detour as a Forensic Metallurgist. In the late 90s, he decided to return to his quest for a life of peace and independence as a farmer. David grew up on a truck farm in the tiny central San Joaquin Valley town of Orosi. Included in the many varieties of fruits and vegetables his family grew was a vineyard planted to Thompson Seedless, which was probably the early catalyst for his love of vineyards.
David now lives on his 11 acre vineyard in the Sebastopol Hills, one of the coolest spots in the Sonoma Coast region for growing Pinot Noir. He planted the vineyard in 1997 to 3 Dijon clones, 115, 777, 667 and a relatively rare clone 459. Dave is one of the most passionate, dedicated farmers I’ve met. He lives on the property and does most of the farming work.
The wines made from David’s vineyard are intensely aromatic, bright and lively. Two words come to mind when I think about Umino Vineyard Pinot Noir… energetic cherries.
Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge
In 2009, we purchased some Pinot Noir fruit from this unique vineyard site way up in northern Mendocino County. It takes me 2.5 hours (from the winery in Santa Rosa) to drive to this vineyard, including 45 minutes on dirt roads. Can you say remote? But this is truly a beautiful place,well worth the drive, and we love the fruit that it produces.
Manchester Ridge Vineyard sits at 2100 ft of elevation on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which is just 3 miles away from the vineyard as the crow flies. The views from the vineyard are spectacular. High enough to be above the coastal fog line, the site sees a lot of sunlight. However, the daytime temps remain quite cool because of the proximity to the cold Pacific waters. It takes a long time for growth to get going in the spring time; the vineyard is always well behind those down in the valley. But the increased warmth at night, due to the elevation, enables the vines to keep on working when the sun goes down. Eventually, the vineyard catches up, with the fruit usually coming off the vines by October 1st. Soils at the site are principally composed of highly eroded sandstone. These weathered soils are also very well-drained, which makes them ideal for a pinot noir vineyard.
W.E. Bottoms Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Our main source for Pinot Noir fruit is the W.E. Bottoms Vineyard. This very small, 3 acre vineyard is located near the quaint town of Occidental in the coolest part of the appellation. The ocean breezes and persistent marine layer keep the area cool and the vines happy.The vineyard is unique because it is planted at a 4’x 4′ density to four different Dijon clones. High density planting keeps the vines in balance (not too vigorous, not too stressed) and the different clones add to the complexity of the finished wines.Finally, we must not underestimate the importance of soil. The Goldridge fine sandy loam found at the vineyard site is very well drained. This keeps vine vigor down and concentrates flavors in the grapes.
Fedrick Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
Our Syrah fruit comes from the Fedrick Ranch Vineyard. The Sangiacomo family developed this 12 acre vineyard in the mid-1990’s, using budwood from the three primary red wine vineyards in the northern Rhone: Cornas, Hermitage and Cote Rotie. It is located on a steep, southwest-facing slope in the Petaluma Gap area of the Sonoma Coast AVA. The rocky, clay soil is well-drained, promoting intensity and concentration in the grapes. The cooling influence of the San Francisco Bay allows for a very long growing season, which encourages complex flavor development. I love this vineyard for the depth and richness of the beef, black pepper and dark fruit flavors exhibited in the wines produced from it. You may know of the highly regarded Syrah produced by Neyers Vineyards from “Old Lakeville Road”. This is the same vineyard.