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Occidental Wines
Sonoma, CA, United States

Occidental is the highly-lauded side project of famed winemaker, Steve Kistler and his business partner, Mark Bixler. Steve is most well-known for his eponymous label, Kistler Vineyards, which has been dedicated to making world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from California’s north coast for over 30 years

While Steve remains CEO of Kistler Vineyards and is very much in charge of day to day operations, his desire to focus solely on Pinot Noir was the impetus behind creating Occidental. Situated just 4 miles from the Ocean in western Sonoma’s Bodega Headlands, Occidental currently has 20 acres of primarily Calera clone Pinot Noir planted, with another 60 acres in development. The vineyards benefit from an ideal south-facing aspect (not shared by neighboring sites), as well as the Petaluma Gap’s cold, windy climate. In fact, the area rarely sees temperatures over 80 degrees. In short, it is a wonderland for Pinot Noir.

Similar to his philosophy at Kistler Vineyards, Steve embraces a “less is more” approach to viticulture and winemaking at Occidental. Steve’s ultimate goal was to reduce the size of the operation and increase the level of attention in order to make Pinot Noir that is rich with flavor, but not overly extracted or tannic.

"A new project owned and managed by Steve Kistler, Occidental has 18 acres of Pinot Noir planted primarily with the Calera clone on low yielding rootstock Riparia Gloire. The vineyard, situated in the Petaluma Gap, is extremely windy and cold… While a lot of noise is made about getting lower sugars in California, and that alcohols have gotten too high, this particular site appears to provide full phenolic ripeness at a much lower sugar level. Moreover, if the crop yields are kept low, excellent intensity and richness are also present. So perhaps in selected microclimates, California is capable of making very concentrated, age-worthy wines with alcohols in the 12.5-13.5% range. Although those terroirs and sites are few and far between, this would appear to be one of them."
-Robert Parker, Dec 2013


Sell Sheet (download PDF)

Sales Materials (view all)

2012 Occidental 'Cuvée Elizabeth' Pinot Noir Bodega Headlands Vyd [OCC380_12]
2012 Occidental Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast [OCC350_12]
2013 Occidental 'Cuvée Elizabeth' Pinot Noir Bodega Headlands Vyd [OCC380_13]
2013 Occidental Pinot Noir SWK Vineyard [OCC360_13]
2014 Occidental 'Cuvée Catherine' Pinot Noir Station Vineyard [OCC370_14]
2014 Occidental 'Cuvée Elizabeth' Pinot Noir Bodega Headlands Vyd [OCC380_14]
2015 Occidental 'Cuvée Elizabeth' Pinot Noir Bodega Headlands [OCC380_15]
2015 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental [OCC350_15]
2015 Occidental Pinot Noir SWK Vineyard [OCC360_15]
2016 Occidental 'Freestone-Occidental' Pinot Noir [OCC350_16]