Named after the number of rows pertaining to our vineyard block within this noble vineyard, this wine is quite impressive, threading a fine line between racy delicacy and creamy richness. Lemon curd, white peaches and white grapefruit with underlying notes of honeyed toast and butterscotch delight the senses.
WAYPOINT GRAPE VARIETY(S): 100% Chardonnay
The Vineyards | Ritchie Vineyard, Middle Reach, Russian River Valley
Coming from the Ritchie Vineyard that sits on a hillside bench in the drop center of the Middle Reach subregion of Russian River Valley AVA. The vineyard has long been lauded as a “Grand Cru” level site when it comes to Burgundian varieties. While Chardonnay takes top honors from this site, not to be overlooked are the broad swatches of old-vine Pinot Noir plantings that are among some of the best grown in the region. We call this 70-acre vineyard the “Land of Giants,” due to overwhelming top end wine producers pulling grapes from the site. Producers like Arista, Aubert, Bevan, Dumol, and Ramey are among the legends of the business, and we are grateful that Kent Ritchie granted us a small allotment of twelve rows of Chardonnay, just enough to produce a little over 5 barrels per year.
Situated directly in the center of the Russian River AVA and first planted in 1972, the vineyard sits on sandy Goldridge soils formed from an ancient seabed that have combined with volcanic ash and tuffa rock deposits to make an ideal foundation from which to grow elite level grapes. There isn’t a level piece of ground on this site as the vineyard is an undulating bowl of benchlands that lead to the Russian River. This is a place you have to see to believe.
Our 12-row block of Kent Ritchie’s vineyard was planted to old Wente clone selection. Widely spaced—the fashion at the time—these old vines with their gnarly trunks produce tiny quantities of grapes per vine.
Method | Whole Cluster Press, via Gravity Flow to French Oak
Utilizing Utilizing 100% Native Yeast Primary and Secondary Fermentations.
Aging Regimen | 45% New French Oak
Aging | 15 Months | 5 Barrels