During my visit to Sonoma County last month, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon and evening with Greg La Follette, producer of acclaimed pinot noir and chardonnay from Sonoma and Mendocino counties. We trundled around the lower Sonoma Coast region in his pickup truck as Greg took me to four vineyards where he sources prime fruit. At each stop, I pointed my Flip video camera at him and asked what makes this vineyard special. You’ll see why I’m a print journalist, but the video gives a glimpse of an enthusiastic and talented winemaker explaining his terroir. I somehow didn’t get the pickup truck, but there is a cameo by a winery dog, and “Windy Hill Vineyard” certainly lives up to its name.
Greg was just back from working harvest in Australia – a rainy harvest he described as “the worst I’ve ever been through.” He hadn’t had time for a haircut or shave, but you can see he was glad to be back in sunny California and looking forward to a new growing season.
I recommended the La Follette Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 in my Washington Post column last week discussing the Sonoma Coast and the question of AVAs in general. All his wines are impressive, including the DuNah Vineyard pinot, which chimes in with alcohol under 14% and delightful subtlety and elegance. The vineyard is stunning, with 360 degree views that I unfortunately don’t capture in this video. And the wine is hard to find, unfortunately, as there ain’t much of it to go around, but it is outstanding. Don’t just take my word for it – Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW also loves it.