WineAccess Travel Log
Read stories from the world's greatest wine trails.
Within a few years of their first vintage, Graves and Ward planted roughly 13 acres of vineyards (in 1986 they were one of the first wineries to plant the Pommard clone) in the vicinity of their laidback barn-style winery. In 1992, they bought the nearby Brown Ranch Vineyard, planting 23 acres to various Pinot Noir clones and 8 acres to Chardonnay. By this time, Saintsbury was producing 35,000 cases annually, carving out spots on restaurant wine lists throughout the county and garnering an enthusiastic following among California Pinot collectors.
Over the years, Saintsbury's consistently good, fairly priced Pinot Noir lineup has generally included a Garnet Pinot Noir, Carneros Pinot Noir, a Reserve bottling and the Brown Ranch Vineyard bottling (since 1996). They've also released a Carneros Chardonnay and often a Reserve Chardonnay. In 2004, however, Saintsbury shifted gears, bringing on Jerome Chery as winemaker to replace the departed Brian Kosuge. Chery, who trained under Ted Lemon, is an advocate of vineyard-specific, terroir-driven Pinot Noir and since his arrival, Sainstbury has been headed steadily in this direction, discontinuing the Reserve bottling and releasing a bevy of single vineyard Pinots.Today, along with its Carneros Pinots and Chardonnays, Sainstbury releases a Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, a peppery Sawi Vineyards, Sonoma Valley Syrah, as well as a Vin Gris.