For this vintage of our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, we blended warmer climate fruit with that grown in a cooler area to create a wine with tension between the rich fruit and lush mouthfeel of a centrally located Russian River vineyard against the bright fruit and racy acidity from the westernmost vineyards. The blend was completed after each different vineyard block was aged separately for 14 months and reached our standard for what a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir should be.
The 2021 vintage was mild and dry. Seasonable weather made for very pleasant spring and summer days. Due to the even temperatures, we predicted an early harvest, but we found that the blocks were ripening slow and steady and needed a little more time to ripen than in previous vintages. The cooler climate Dutton Ranch vineyards picked earliest due to lower yields, largely due to a higher percentage of smaller, seedless berries, which are nice to have for concentration in the finished wine. Predictably, the warmer vineyards in the north and central neighborhoods picked after that.