The team at Small Vines Wines stopped by Littorai the other day to see their new winery and estate vineyard and taste what all the hype is about. And boy were we not disappointed!

Littorai labelLittorai is one of our neighbor wineries in theRussianRiverValley. They have been making wine on theNorthCoast for nearly 20 years. Littorai shares many similarities with Small Vines, feeling that great wines are grown rather than made.  They are pioneers in responsible agriculture, farming biodynamically.

The wines are made in a similar style to Small Vines. They are minimalist winemakers, rarely making yeast, bacteria, acid, or nutrient additions to their wines. Doing so would dilute the true nature of the wines and expression of the land. Littorai’s winemaker, Ted Lemon, has a background in and love ofBurgundy. LikePaul Sloan, Small Vines’ winemaker, he strives to make Burgundian Pinot Noir’s that are both complex and food-friendly.

Littorai’s Assistant Winemaker, Trey Fletcher, was kind enough to walk us around Littorai’s newest vineyard and tour their new winemaking facility. The winery is a sight to be seen. It is immaculate and perfect for premium winemaking. The facility is very innovative, using green technologies such as night air cooling, natural hay-bale walls, and water reclamation through constructed wetlands. We were extremely interested in the setup of the winery, hoping to steal ideas for the eventual construction of Small Vines’ own facility.

We ended with a tasting of Littorai’s releases. The wines were all fabulous and reminiscent of a style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that we like. Interesting, bright, complex and age-worthy.

Favorite wine of the day: Difficult because all were stellar but the 2007 Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir was outstanding. The grapes are grown in theAndersenValley. The most old-world in profile. Solid stone fruit with broad and powerful spice and game notes. Elegant and well integrated palate. This wine would go incredibly with crispy pork belly and some earthy wild mushrooms.

Thanks for the wonderful time!