Winemaker Notes

The 2012 Calista Coast Range Pinot Noir is deep ruby red in color with aromatics of dried cherries, rose petal, violet and roasted coffee bean. Rhubarb, cherry and notes of cranberry flow through the palate to a balanced and lengthy finish of mixed dark fruit and black tea.


The 2012 vintage was a winemaker’s dream come true and a welcome sight after a tricky 2011 harvest. Throughout California winemakers were blessed with a crop of outstanding quality and high yields. Some are calling this the vintage of the decade thus far. The harvest period was lovely and warm, fostering long hang times for all growing regions throughout the state. The lack of extreme heat allowed for even ripening and our winemaking team was able to pick at optimal sugar levels and flavor within the grapes.


To capture the juicy, fresh fruit character of the grapes, we hand harvest in the early morning when the grapes are between     24°- 26° Brix. Once the grapes arrive at the winery, they are cold soaked for two to three days at 48° F to intensify color and flavor. Fermentation takes place in small, open-top fermenters, where the cap is gently punched down twice a day to extract color and enhance structure. After a gentle pressing, Calista Pinot Noir is aged in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new, for 14 months.

Technical Specifications

  • Appellation: California
  • Varietal Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
  • TA: .56
  • pH: 3.77
  • Suggested Retail Price: $25
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Barrel Program: 100% French Oak, 30% new for 14 months

The Coast Range

The Coast Range of California is a stretch of mountains that parallels the Pacific Ocean from Mendocino County in Northern California south some 400 miles to Santa Barbara in Southern California. This geologically young mountain system, known to native Californians as “The Great Coast Range”, is comprised of crushed, creased, and folded sea floor pushed up some 30 million years ago. The maritime climate and the unique soil structure across the range create optimum vineyard conditions for growing Pinot Noir. Each region lends its distinctive terroir to our signature blend.


The Quiver:

Mendocino County

The very pretty and savory fruit from Anderson Valley truly hold the Coast Blend together. It balances the strength of the fruit from Santa Lucia Highlands and the bright fruit of the Russian River Valley.

The Anderson Valley boasts an eclectic variety of soil types that range from loam and clay to gravel beds. The Anderson Valley is also home to a notorious marine layer that retreats back up the Navarro River in the late morning. These attributes shape a unique terroir that many believe is the most Old World like Pinot Noir grown in the New World. The Pinot Noir is medium-bodied, with savory earth tones and shows more red fruit. This aspect of the blend, like Calista’s quiver, holds the direction and strength of the blend in balance.


The Arrow:
Russian River

Sonoma County

The Russian River Valley’s striking richness of fruit, like Calista’s Arrow, gives the overall direction to our Coast Range Pinot Noir.

The Russian River Valley’s cooling fog and alluvial soils from the ancient Russian River and its flood plain give the overall direction to our Coast Range Pinot Noir. We wanted our Pinot Noir to be typified by focused and bright fruit tones that span the flavor profile from red strawberry to dark cherry with mixed spices and earth tones.


The Bow:
Santa Lucia

Monterey County

The Santa Lucia Highlands south east orientation funnels cool wind off Monterey Bay and into the Salinas Valley. This cooling fog allows for premier ripening conditions and yields long hang time for the fruit. This extended ripening period produces complex flavors inside the grapes.

Since the Santa Lucia Highlands produce distinct and powerful Pinot Noirs, it is no surprise we turned here in search of body and enticing dark fruit characteristics for our Coast Range Pinot Noir. We refer to the qualities the Santa Lucia Highlands fruit imbues on our wine as Calista’s Bow, due to their ability to give strengths and structure to our blend.

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