Jim Riddle was the first grower to ever take a chance on us. Jason met Jim in early 2014 through his mentor, David Santi. Jason was obsessed with the idea of making a coastal Pinot Noir, as was every other ambitious young winemaker—coastal Pinot is always in demand.

So David took Jason (feeling somewhat starstruck and intimidated) to meet Jim, on an educational interview of sorts. And the moment Jason stepped onto that Goldridge soil and trekked up to the big oak tree on top of the hill, he was blown away. The view was unbelievable, with the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and a sea of vineyards to the west. 

Jason took a chance and reached out to Jim again before the 2014 harvest. This time, he arrived prepared… with a picnic. With the help of a friend from culinary school, he had made pâté and pasta salad. He also brought delicious crusty bread and a magnum of favorite Champagne, to seal the deal. Jim and Jason sat at a picnic table overlooking his vines, deep in conversation as they worked their way through lunch. As they got up to leave, Jim said, “Okay, I’ll sell you two blocks. Don’t screw it up.” Jason drove home grinning ear to ear.  

When we visit Riddle Vineyard, it’s often dark and gray, blanketed by thick morning fog. When the fog blows off, it’s a spectacular unveiling, revealing a bright-blue coastal sky. One of our two blocks is a super-steep eastern facing hillside planted to the 115 Clone. The berries express a beautiful dark fruit character. As these stems don’t have the chance to lignify, we don’t whole-cluster ferment this parcel.

Our other block, planted to Pommard, is on the opposite side of the vineyard on a flatter, more southwest-facing slope—the ideal complement to the 115 block. We harvest this fruit about two weeks later and ferment it as whole clusters, revealing intensely aromatic strawberry notes. 

Appellation
Green Valley
Varieties
Pinot Noir
Clones
Pommard, 115
Soil Type
Goldridge

Vineyard Sources