Pinot Noir: Articles on the Pinot Noir Red Wine Grape Varietal

Wildcat Mountain: Carneros' and Sonoma's Coolest Vineyard

When veteran winemaker Steve MacRostie went looking for a new vineyard to plant his chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah he discovered Wildcat Mountain in the Carneros/Sonoma region.  "I felt Wildcat would push the envelope, something untried.  The cooler climates, the stressful site, the thinner soils; this is not a safe place to set up a farming operation.  In a business sense it was probably rather stupid," he said plainly.

Tandem Wines' Greg La Follette on Terroir, Points, and Pinot Noir

Greg La Follette is one of the most revered winemakers in Sonoma County, if not the entire wine industry. His wines at both Flowers and his own label, Tandem Wines, have earned numerous accolades. In person, however, his prominence seems more like water under the bridge. Strikingly unpretentious and engaging, Greg La Follette shows far more interest in what you think about his wines today than he does about how they score or what critics say. IntoWine had the good fortune of chatting with Greg recently about winemaking, terroir, and the blessed curse of wine scoring systems.

Winemaker David Vergari Talks Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and....Armed Guards?

Sometimes there are people you encounter in life who, the minute you meet them, you think "This guy has a story to tell and I bet he tells it well." David Vergari is that guy. A veteran winemaker, David launched his own eponymous label, Vergari Wines, in 2003. He recently sat down with IntoWine to share with us his evolution as a winemaker and, most interestingly, the stories "behind the wine".

You founded the Vergari Wine Company in 2003. What inspired you to strike out on your own?

It happened in two ways: gradually, then quite suddenly.

Freeman Winery: A Tail of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Hurricane Gloria

It's almost like a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film. A young man meets the woman of his dreams after his sailboat is chased ashore by a hurricane. Marriage and career success ensue and years later the happy couple end up running a Sonoma winery that just so happens to produce some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in all of California. Yes, Ken Freeman's life story may indeed be one of which movies are made. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Ken Freeman about his eponymous winery, Freeman Vineyard and Winery, as well as his unique path to becoming a revered wine maker.

Vins de France 101: Alsace, France’s Little Wine Treasure

Take a deep breath. While exhaling, say “Ahhhl zas.” It resonates like a yoga mantra with the emphasis on “Ahhh.” The phonetic version of Alsace reveals the beauty of this little border province and the prominence of one of France’s smallest wine regions. It harbors a medieval landscape from a bygone era. Half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and Romanesque churches have you anticipating someone heavily cloaked in costume to walk by you munching on a giant turkey leg.

From Chardonnay to Pinot Noir: Brice Cutrer Jones Discusses the Evolution of a Winemaker

Brice Cutrer Jones is virtually synonymous with California Chardonnay (Hint: Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay).

Blending Pinot Noir on the Central Coast: Scents and Sensibilities

As with most things in life, collaboration is the key to success. In the world of wine, collaboration is evident between winemakers and growers, winemakers and coopers and so forth. Yet when the critical stage of blending a wine happens, many winemakers go it alone. Blending various wines means that different clones, different toast levels of barrels, and grapes from different vineyards, must be taken into account in order to produce a stand-out wine.

Lynmar Estates Winery

The Vibe: 

Lynmar Estates is a 47-acre estate along the Russian River Valley with organic garden views, expansive vistas, and notable architecture. The winery can accommodate drop-ins from 10am-5pm every day, with tastings starting at $10.  You can also opt to book a more extravagent tasting in advance, including a tour of the gardens and a full gourmet luncheon prepared by the in-house chef.

Picnic tables are available by appointment: if you schedule ahead, and purchase a Lynmar wine, you can reserve a picnic table in their redwood grove.

Special events at Lynmar include “Pinot and Pizza,” which pairs wines with pizzas made from organic Estate garden ingredients in their on-site woodburning oven, on select days throughout the year, and "Cultivation Classes," which include wine pairings, garden tours, and a membership into Lynmar’s Friends of the Garden program.  "Friends" can then visit, plant and harvest the community garden throughout the year.

The owner, Lynn Fritz, is an expert in global logistics and humanitarian relief efforts and the winery has been in the family since 1980.

The vineyard shares a border with Laguna de Santa Rosa, a 250 square-mile watershed that is home to mammals, reptiles, native plants and migrating birds. Lynmar's vineyard and winery team uses the most habitat-friendly farming techniques and is sensitive to the needs of the ecosystem.

The winery is available for private events, but cannot host weddings due to permit issues.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Garden Views
  • Food Pairings
  • Pinot Noir
  • Chardonnay
  • Picnics
  • Eco-friendly
  • Modern Architecture
Not good for: 
  • Budget Travelers
  • Old-world Architecture
  • Hosting a Wedding
Known For: 
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Lynmar Estates
Lynmar Estates


3909 Frei Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
United States
38° 26' 33.7128" N, 122° 50' 45.1176" W
Phone Number: 

Pinot Days: Eat, Drink and Blog Merry

A couple years ago as I was starting my own small lot winery in the neighborhood, I heard excited rumblings about a new San Francisco based festival called Pinot Days. It sounded like one of the many small quaint shows typical of Northern California, featuring some local wines, a little food, and attended by casual wine fans; the type of show I might attend if I happened to find myself in the area.

Picking Your Pinot

Living here in Seattle, I admit I’m among the many that are proud of our famous wine regions and wines. Since I love to vacation on the Oregon coast, I find myself in the upper Willamette/Yamhill AVA a couple of times a year. This area is conveniently located along Route 18, the road leading from Portland to the coast, and it’s easy to hop on and off the freeway to visit a variety of wineries.
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