Our family has been growing grapes, in the Anderson Valley in coastal Mendocino since 1973. Since our production of wine and non-alcoholic grape juice is small, you probably will not find them in your local store.
Consolidation and globalization are sweeping the wine business but mega-farming is not particularly conducive to crafting distinctive wines. Navarro is tiny and we don't base decisions on expediency or efficiency. We hand hoe on hillsides, punch-down fermenting juice in small bins and painstakingly train each stray grape shoot into its proper place on the trellis.
Learn More About Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir (PEE-noh nwahr)
Pinot Noir is a finicky grape. It only grows in
the right climate, with the right soils and the right care. Perhaps because
it is so difficult is why it is so loved. Pinot Noir hails from Burgundy, a region known for crafting the most collectible and sought-after wines from this varietal.
Not only does Pinot reign in Burgundy, it is also essential in Champagne, where it is one of the
three main grapes in creating sparkling wine. Pinot Noir mutates
easily and so there are many different clones floating around in different wine regions.
Other than Burgundy, Pinot has been successful in areas like
and lately, New
Zealand - the Central
Otago region to be exact. Burgundian Pinot Noir typically offers flavors and aromas
of red fruit, summer pudding and baking spices. As the wine matures - and great
Burgundies are able to do so for years - the flavors become more like the earth
the wine comes from- mushrooms, truffles - and the wine gains tremendous complexity.
Pinot Noir from the new world like Oregon and California typically exude stronger
fruit intensity. Some are able to reach a high level of complexity, structure
and age. Others are wonderful for drinking now with a myriad of foods. Many
may wax poetic about this grape, the reason being that Pinot Noir produces an
amazing contradiction in wine - something so delicate and subtle, yet powerful
Learn More About California
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA
, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA
, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA
, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
Mike Hines (9/26/2010)
Color is just fine (3 of 3). Very nice boquet, but just short of promising greatness (3 of 4). Just right tannons, and refreshing acidity, this pinot has a full body with extended (though not complex) finish. Well balanced, and ready to drink this year (6 of 8). Overall, a very nice cool climate pinot! I'd buy this again to keep as core stock Pinot. (4 of 5). Total: 16 of 20
Mike Hines (9/26/2010)
This wine looks fine (3 of 3), but there is nothing special about the bouquet. The smell doesn't promise much (2 of 4). The tasting experience shows pleasant tannins, and refreshing acidity, still this wine falls short of being full-bodied. The length of finish is okay but is not terribly complex. The wine is well balanced and ready to drink this year. (maybe best last year…) (3 of 8). Overall, A pleasant wine I'd value at $12-$14 a bottle, but would probably not buy again. (2 of 5) TOTAL: 10 of 20