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Rayhill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Sonoma Coast

THE VINEYARD: This 9-acre vineyard is perched atop a 500-foot mountain in the Sebastopol Hills, just outside the town of Freestone. Location and climate mean the growing season is characterized by warm days, afternoon winds, and cool nights—optimal conditions for Pinot Noir. As such, vines comprise Dijon clones 115, 667, 777 and 828 on 101-14 rootstock. The vineyard also is farmed using organic practices such as cover crops with natural amendments (in other words, no herbicides). It is owned by William and Renee Rayhill.

LABEL STORY: The Ernest in Ernest Vineyards is Ernest Gottula, Todd’s grandfather and The Grandfather. Over the years “Ernest” has come to embody all of our grandparents, as well as the passion for which they stood. We are proud to carry on their legacy.

TASTING NOTE: Deep garnet color suggestive of concentrated, earthy, and leathery aromatics married with dried cherries, cassis, blackberries, and cola.  Piercing acidity followed by luscious red and black fruits with a black pepper spice and velvety tannins.  Our most powerful Pinot.

Aging: 30% New French Oak, 10 months
Cases Produced: 161
Alc. BY Vol: 13.0


Single Vineyard

Ernest Vineyards specializes in site-specific wines. Each of our wines comprises grapes from one vineyard and one vineyard only. For our Ernest labels, we use grapes from nine sites in all. Some sites are well-draining, some are on hillsides. Some face west, some are considered cold-climate. We work closely with growers and vineyard managers at each site to dial-in the farming to adhere to a style that maximizes flavor ripeness while keeping sugars down and acidity high. The result: Wines that are pure expressions of the sites from which they came.

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We produce rosé under the Eugenia label; our current release, from the 2015 vintage, include two different wines. One—The Country Wife—is a rosé of cinsault, and is just like all of our other single-vineyard wines, made with grapes from one vineyard and one vineyard only. Another—The Motley—is a rosé of pinot noir, and is a blend from our very coldest pinot noir sites.

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The Lab

In addition to Ernest and Eugenia, we own and operate a third label: Edaphos (pronounced ee-dah-fos). It means “base,” “ground,” and “soil” in Greek; we felt it was a good expression of our attitude behind this winemaking. We consider this part of our business to be our “laboratory,” the place where we make small-lot wines that incorporate new and exciting approaches to winemaking with different styles and off-beat grape varietals. Sometimes we also call it our “sandbox.” The Edaphos strategy enables us to explore, experiment, and apply some of the lessons we learn to wines we make under our other labels. It also allows us to produce different wines whenever we feel like making them.

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Visit Us

Our Tasting Room is open daily, 10am-4pm in Windsor. We offer varying wine tasting selections that span releases and varietals. View current tasting selections and pricing below.


Wine Club

Our Ernest Family wine clubs offer our customers convenient twice yearly delivery of our special, limited-production wines. Each shipment during our Fall and Spring releases is curated with a mix of wines expressing the best of the vintage.