Because Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are so celebrated for their ability to reflect site, top vineyards have become legendary, and the presence of their name on a label can often play a starring role above the winery itself.
Even top California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers like Marcassin, Kistler and Paul Hobbs pay tribute and respect to the Old World mystique tied to great sites like Ulises Valdez, Gary’s Vineyard and Durell.
If you count yourself as a Pinotfile, or if you find excitement by single-vineyard bottlings, there’s a new name ripe with adventure and discovery: Reuling Vineyard.
If the Reuling name sounds familiar, that is because it already has a storied history as a top vineyard site. The Reuling Vineyard has an impressive pedigree as a source for coveted wines from Aubert and Peter Michael over the past decade. Wine collectors will be especially tuned into Aubert’s Chardonnay bottlings, which have twice garnered 99-point reviews by critic Robert Parker—a rating which only four California Chardonnay producers have ever managed to achieve.
The vineyard’s origins date back to 1998 when Tim and Jackie Reuling purchased the 16-acre Sonoma Coast property. While the land has served the Reulings as a home to raise a family, grow produce, raise livestock, make art and live a life connected to nature, the couple always recognized there was potential for even more. Vines were planted in the year 2000, and the status of the site quickly rose in prominence.
After a decade as growers, the Reuling decided to bottle their own wines to capture the best expression of the land. With former Araujo Estate winemaker Matt Taylor overseeing production, the first Reuling Vineyard wine, a 2011 Pinot Noir, was recently released to mailing list members for $70. The first Reuling Vineyard Chardonnay will follow next year.
“We have lived on this property for 15 years, and we wanted to make wines that fully reflect all of the nuance at and depth of this site which we have come to know and love,” says Tim Reuling. “For us, Reuling Vineyard is more than just wine. The site is a reflection of our values and family. We have an intimate connection with it, and our goal has been to translate that into world-class wines.”
At the time this article posts, there is still space to sign up for the allocation list at www.reulingvineyard.com.
Here are a few examples of other respected Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards like Reuling, which made the transition from farmers to winemakers:
- Kanzler: Since being planted in 1996, the Kanzler name has been known as a source for producers like A.P. Vin, CL Wines, Kosta Browne, Rhys Vineyards and Roessler. In 2004, they began making their own Pinot Noir wines.
- Walker Station Vineyard: Harry Walker has been growing grapes since 1968, and he eventually found the Walker Station Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. He began selling fruit to Paul Hobbs in 1997, and with Hobbs’ help, Walker Station Vineyard began producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 2000.
- Keefer Ranch: Marcy and Robert Keefer planted vineyards on their Petaluma Gap property in 1988, but it wasn’t until 2006 that they made the first wine of their own. Prestigious producers like Kosta Brown, Failla, and many others have sourced fruit from the site.