La Follette is a Sonoma County winery intensely focused on crafting wines that offer benchmark expression of vineyard site. La Follette's portfolio of small lot Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offers a sensory tour of some of the most expressive and interesting vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino County.
Founder Greg La Follette was undeniably fond of experimentation in his winemaking and his taste for exploration was evident in the wines he crafted. His passion for the true meaning of terroir made him one of the country’s leading authorities on Pinot Noir. His replacement, Hugh Chappelle, has also found his purpose making site-driven, terroir focused wines from singular vineyards. Prior to joining La Follette, the winemaker has been with Quivira for nine years and was previously Director of Winemaking at Lynmar Estate in Russian River Valley.
Under the leadership of Pete and Terri Kight, the same couple behind Quivira Vineyards, La Follette produces distinguished vineyard-designated and appellation Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that take their voice from the sites in which they are grown. Ehren Jordan, from Failla and Day, is a consultant winemaker.
|APPELLATION(S)||North Coast, Sonoma Coast|
|PROPRIETORS||Pete & Terri Kight|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
La Follette embraces the old-world concept of terroir: that each individual vineyard site has a unique expression, that can be expressed through the wines made from grapes grown in that place.
In producing the most distinctive site-driven Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, La Follette partners with family-owned and farmed vineyards that are committed to maximizing the potential of their unique site, working with them to execute the viticultural directives that La Follette develop with them. These directives are guided by decades of analyzing soil composition, a vine’s biology, and the finished wine’s intended characteristics. Among its best sites:
Heintz Vineyard - Owned and operated by the Heintz family since 1912. The 50-acre vineyard is located in Occidental, a cooler section of the Russian River Valley within the Sonoma Coast AVA. Elevation at 900 ft; soil type is Goldridge Sandy Loam; 2 acres planted to Pinot Noir (Pommard 4; 115; 113; Berringer; Swan clones) in 1996.
Sangiacomo – Roberts Road Vineyard - Located at the base of the eastern foothills of the Sonoma Coast AVA, directly adjacent to Gap’s Crown vineyard in the Petaluma Gap. The ‘gap’ pulls the ocean breeze in through the Russian River Valley where it rolls over the foothills, moderating the healthy amount of sun this vineyard gets from its southwestern exposure. This combination of cool sunlight allows the vineyard to achieve full maturity while retaining softness to the Pinot Noir fruit. Soil type is clay loam series with creek rock clay; Dijon 777 & Swan clones of Pinot Noir were planted in 1999.
Sun Chase Vineyard - Located on a southwest facing hillside between 900’ and 1400’ feet at the confluence of where the Petaluma Gap collides with Sonoma Mountain, Sun Chase is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its climate is heavily influenced by cool ocean breezes but it sits above the fog line for a nice balance of heat stress on the grapevines, allowing for slow and even maturation of the fruit. Clones 76 (Chardonnay) & 777 (Pinot Noir) were planted in 2007.