A few years ago I came across Ceritas in California and loved their wines. We are now delighted to have them available in the UK, led by husband and wife duo, John and Phoebe Raytek. These are stylistically extremely delicate and fine-boned, the perfume is alluring and the filigree tannins I have routinely only found in Burgundy. These are wonderful Pinots for the cellar and would be magical in the home of any serious collector of Pinot Noir.
Elliot Vineyard is tucked between Hellenthal Vineyards and the easternmost boundary of the Hirsch Vineyard. We were drawn to this site, planted in 1981 to the Mt. Eden clone of Pinot Noir, partly because of its unique perch, but primarily because its soils offer exactly what we look for in a Pinot vineyard. With slightly less clay than at neighboring Hellenthal vineyard, these shale soils are intermixed with decomposed marine sediments. Organically and dry farmed by the Hellenthal family, this vineyard straddles the ridge of parent rock, giving it the unique position of facing both north and south.
We harvest this vineyard in multiple passes, thereby obtaining maximum expression of the site. The resulting wine is bright and delicate, offering light perfume and great transparency.
The mission at Ceritas is to craft single vineyard expressions of place through Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The sources for our fruit along the Sonoma Coast and westernmost Russian River Valley were carefully chosen for their winegrowing merits and also for their singularity. Each allows us the opportunity to craft balanced and distinct wines which will stand out on the dinner table. Just as oysters grown in Tomales Bay taste altogether different from those grown in Puget Sound, our wines are reflective of the growing seasons and soils from which they came.
In the vineyard we allow our sustainable farming practices to be dictated by observation and empiricism rather than by prescriptive farming. All of our vineyard sites are either farmed bio-dynamically or are in the initial stages of being converted to biodynamic farming methods. We believe that biodynamic farming methods, and focused and site-specific attention, give the vines the greatest opportunity to experience each growing season, to respond accordingly, and ultimately to yield grapes with the unmistakable flavours and smells of their time and place.
In the winery, we keep things simple. We look at winemaking from a standpoint that owes more to tradition than it does to cutting-edge innovation we more often find ourselves trying to understand what not to do rather than what to do. The crafting of each vintage is like a journey, in which nature sets its own course. Our role is to adapt, to proceed with humility, and to learn.
- Vintage: 2017
- Origin: Sonoma Coast / California / USA
- Grapes: Pinot Noir