A conversation with Winemaker, Stéphane Vivier

At Long Meadow Ranch we are lucky enough to make many different varietals from multiple AVAs. One varietal offers us many expressions from our Anderson Valley Estate in Mendocino County – Pinot Noir. You’ll find Pinot Noir in seven of our wines. Winemaker, Stéphane Vivier is the man behind these beautiful wines and we asked him a few questions about his process and why Anderson Valley is the perfect place for Pinot Noir all ways.

WHY IS ANDERSON VALLEY SUCH A GREAT PLACE FOR PINOT NOIR?

Anderson Valley is a very unique region for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the coastal influence is obvious in the balance, freshness, and energy of the wine. The vines are coexisting right next to massive redwoods groves, which indicates the soils are staying cool all season long and bringing tension and minerality to all our wines. The  Long Meadow Ranch property is very mature and beautifully integrated within the landscape. With its three distinct types of soils (Feliz, Pinole, and Perrygulch), and many different slopes and myriads of different Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clonal selections, you have the recipe for fresh, energetic, and complex wines.

IS THERE A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO MAKING EACH VARIATION OF PINOT NOIR OR IS THE WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY ALWAYS CONSISTENT?

The winemaking philosophy is consistent throughout – I try to make wine that narrates the story of the place and its people. For me, that’s often wine of extreme balance, elegance, and nuance. Throughout the growing season and harvest, we pick and choose to which parcel to bring in with different wines in mind.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN PINOT NOIR BLANC AND WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT THAN THE CLASSIC PINOT NOIR?

The grapes for the Pinot Noir Blanc are usually harvested pretty early, about a week after the sparkling wine and around the time we harvest the Pinot Noir for the Rosé. We press the Pinot Noir Blanc grapes very gently to extract the pure essence of Pinot Noir, with no color or tannins to get in the way of the taste. You taste the soul of the grapes.

PINOT NOIR GOES INTO OUR SPARKLING WINES. CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SPARKLING WINEMAKING PROCESS AND WHAT YOU’RE GOING FOR WHEN MAKING THESE WINES?

The sparkling wines are made following the same strict guidelines used in the region of Champagne. We only use the Tête de Cuvée of each pressing, meaning the heart of the wine and the most vibrant. The base wine ages for a few months in two third stainless steel, and one-third oak. Aging after tirage is prolonged for three and half years and we dosage every vintage.

FOOD PAIRING RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Rosé of Pinot Noir: Salumi Plate, Shrimp Cocktail
  • Pinot Noir Blanc: Chicken Dish, Beaufort Cheese, Anderson Valley Goat Cheese
  • Blanc de Noirs: This is a versatile wine with extreme freshness and clean lines. It goes well with caviar or Dungeness crab
  • Perrygulch Pinot Noir: Duck, Quail, Bolognese Pasta, Venison, or Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Pinole Pinot Noir: King Salmon, Poultry Dishes, Blanquette de Veau, Pate de Campagne

SHOP PINOT NOIR

Bottle of Long Meadow Ranch wine
2017 BLANC DE NOIRS
ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE
 
Brut Rose
2018 BRUT ROSÉ
ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE
 
Pinot Noir Perrygulch
2018 PINOT NOIR, PERRYGULCH
ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE
 
Pinole Pinot
2018 PINOT NOIR, PINOLE
ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE
 
Pinot Noir Blanc
2019 PINOT NOIR BLANC
ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE
 
Pinot Noir
2018 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY