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 areÂ deeply intense Chardonnays that channel all the focus and salinity of the Pacific with laser-like precision. Crushed chalk, oyster shell and lime zest are typical characters of these wines, not your usual Californian styles at all.
'Our southernmost vineyard, Trout Gulch, sits a mere 3.5 miles from the ocean and 750 feet above the hamlet of Aptos in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyard was planted in 1980 with cuttingss of Wente Chardonnay and Mt Eden Pinot Noir and is carefully tended by winemaker/vigneron Richard Alfaro. Uplifted oceanic sandy soils create a unique drainage sending the vines deep into marine derived sub-soils. Tucked into a cool coastal redwood drainage area allows temperatures here to stay cooler than expected â€“ summertime highs rarely exceed 27Â°C.Â
This is our latest site to harvest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The extended season and cool fall weather results in wines of great fruit purity and naturally high acidity. The wines also capture a marine flavour unlike any of our other wines.
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.Â
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 â€” 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.'
Note: Delivery expected in December 2019.
- Vintage:Â 2017
- Origin:Â Santa Cruz MountainsÂ / California
- Grapes:Â Chardonnay