The Drew Family Pinot: The Apple of our Eye
Drew was started with a clear pursuit in mind: to craft small lot, cool climate wines that are expressions of the site they come from, truly representative of their variety. So when they were presented with the opportunity to buy an old 26 acre apple orchard within the Mendocino Ridge Appellation, they pounced.
While others saw a daunting project in this old forgotten orchard, Jason and Molly saw ancient oceanic soils, south facing slopes at 1250ft elevation, putting them just above the fogline and a true coastal climate, with the ocean a mere 3.3 miles away. With that leap, the Drew estate winery at Faîte De Mer Farm was born.
A true vigneron, Jason quickly went to work planting the eight acre estate to a collection of California heritage field selections, suitcase selections, and several Dijon clones of Pinot Noir. Additionally, two acres of Chardonnay were added along with a small truffle orchard to accompany the remaining 14 acre apple orchard. The entirety of the property is certified organic and is teeming with life.
The wine that Drew produces is a synthesis of this exceptional terroir and Jason’s immense talent and experience. Having studied in both the northern and southern hemispheres, in Agroecology, Viticulture and a Graduate Degree in Enology from the University of Adelaide, Jason went on to work for some legendary farmer/producers.
He worked at St. Supery alongside Kirk Grace as well as Joseph Phelps with Craig Williams, Luna with John Kongsgaard, Carmenet with Jeff Baker, Corison with Cathy Corison and Babcock Vineyards with Brian Babcock, totalling 29 years in the industry.
All of that is clearly presented in the exceptional Pinot Noir below. We can't say enough about this wine. Deep ruby colored mineral driven Pinot Noir that shows deep savory red fruit tones, shitake mushrooms and wet stones. Extremely elegant, this is hallmark, Coastal Mendocino at its best.
All of this from a wine that, for lack of a better term, is entry level for Drew. They focus on single vineyard expressions from either their own estate vineyard or from trusted neighbors who share their values with regards to sustainable agriculture. This is part of their appellation series and with the fruit coming from Faite De Mer Farm, their estate vineyard, and the Valenti Ranch. A wine from California of this quality at this price is as rare as a condor.
We are very happy to be working with Drew. We’ve only tasted this one wine from them, but if it's any indication of what they have in store, expect to see many more of their wines in the shop.
Drew, Mendocino Pinot Noir ‘Mid-Elevation’ 2019
Oh and by the way they make superlative cider from those old orchards. We couldn't help ourselves and grabbed a case.
Sur La Mer, Mendocino Coast Brut Apple Cider, NV
A light and refreshing dry cider, made like a traditional sparkling wine and containing notes of citrus, green apple, quartz and subtle saline notes (suggests coastal proximity). Good with creamy cheeses, savory crepes, roast chicken or oysters on the half shell.