Cool Climate Character
Winery: Owned by former Secret Service Agent Chris Von Holt and former Dance Studio owner wife Pamela Miller, Von Holt Wines aim to produce wines with elegance and bright natural acidity, early-harvested from single vineyards in cool-climate regions in a nuanced, feminine style. With the Secret Service, Chris protected 4 presidents, 4 vice-presidents and others on travels to over 40 countries, where often he witnessed pride in locally sourced food and drink, inspiring the idea of creating California wines near his hometown San Francisco. Pamela’s wine inspiration came from a childhood friend from France whose family allowed them sips of wine with meals as a young girl.
Vineyards: Desiring wines with grace and refinement rather than brute strength, they searched to find outstanding vineyards in cool pockets of the Russian River and Sonoma Coast. These moderate, relatively steady temperatures allow for slow and gradual ripening, protect delicacy and nuance in the fruit, early picking at low brix, and produce delicately balanced wines with unique character.
Winemaking: Von Holt wines are made in a state of the art winery in San Francisco operated formerly by Ed Kurtzman, a friend and advisor to the Von Holts and to winemaker John Fones. Fones has assisted with non-interventionist winemaking at Freeman, August West and Roar following his UC Davis training, after leaving behind a successful 16-year career as a Baltimore attorney. Limiting production to 750 cases per year gives them artisan attention to the winemaking. Saying “the work is done if you pick at the right time,” Fones sorts the grapes before fermenting with a varying mix of native and cultured yeasts. He bottles without fining or filtering the wines, using light oak treatment of 20-35%. Usually low in alcohol, Von Holt is not dogmatic about the 14% threshold, yet aims for a lean and bright style.
Viognier 2017, Terra Alta Vineyard, Lodi 12.5% alcohol NEW VINTAGE Certified Organic
Winemaker Notes: “A nose of white flowers and honeysuckle, it shows an easy, pleasing entry to the palate and lovely fruit. Clean, bright and with a pleasing dose of acidity.” This 100% Viognier is undisturbed by any new oak. Condrieu styled. Farmed Certified Organic. 50 cases.
Chardonnay 2015, Charles Heintz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 93 Points WE
93 Points, Wine Enthusiast: “This wine has a depth of flavor and length within a richly balanced, focused and tightly textured ring of acidity. An imprint of lemon oil that’s slightly viscous and completely compelling on the palate.”
Overlooking the Ocean, this Grand Cru vineyard offers cool climate, above-the-fog sun exposure, well-drained soil, masterful vineyard management and farming, old vines, yields of 2 tons per acre andextendedOctoberhangtime.NeutralFrenchoakonly. 200cases.
Grenache 2015, (Rosé / Red, Hybrid Style) Linden Ridge Vineyard, Lodi 12.6% alcohol New Von Holt Wine
Winery Tasting Notes: “A Cool Weather, Rosé Style. Very pale, between Rose and Red. Bouquet of strawberry and cinnamon with soft, silky texture with flavors of juicy plums and apricots and a super long finish.” Whole berries, native fermentation, no new oak. Unfiltered. 100 cases.
Pinot Noir 2015, Sonoma Coast 13.0% alcohol
Winery Tasting Notes: “A wine with wonderful, developed flavors. A light ruby color, with an expressive nose of bing cherries and lavender. A smooth entry to the palate with flavors of ripe raspberries and red cherries and a lasting finish of 30+ seconds.” Aged in used French oak for 10 months. No new oak. Racked once prior to bottling unfiltered. 96 cases made.
Pinot Noir 2015, Suacci Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 13.2% alcohol 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
91 Points, Wine Enthusiast: “Intoxicatingly floral in rose petal and lavender, this wine is abundant in juicy red fruit and spicy acidity, with a cool- climate earthiness that’s undeniably enjoyable and intriguing.” Sustainably farmed, this hillside vineyard is cooled by ocean breezes and fog. Tiny clusters from limited 1.5 Tons/acre yields were aged in 40% new Seguin Moreau barrels. A splash decant advised. 120 cases.
Pinot Noir 2015, Hummingbird Hill, “Petaluma Gap” Sonoma Coast New Vintage
90 Points, Wine & Spirits: “A tight Pinot with firm tannins, focused flavors, whole cluster spice and fruit. It grows juicy and bolder with air, the dark fruit waiting to come forward with cellar time.”
Winery Notes: “An expressive nose of dark cherries and freshly picked roses. A smooth entry with flavors of ripe raspberries and black cherries. A lasting finish of 30+ seconds. Situated in the chilly Petaluma Gap, the glorious 2015 vintage created even ripening and tiny yields with wonderful, developed flavors. 33% new French Oak, and in 1 and 2 year old French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. 144 cases.
Syrah 2015, Halcon Vineyard, Yorkville Highlands 13.8% alcohol New Wine, Just Released!
Winemaker Notes: “Medium ruby and suede in color. Intriguing nose of white pepper, and rich dark fruits. Smooth entry leads to a pleasing mouthfeel with moderate grip on the finish. A lasting finish of 45 seconds.” Three clones were harvested at 2500 feet elevation in the cool Yorkville Highlands, sorted and native-yeast fermented with 30% whole cluster. Undisturbed by new oak. 100 cases made.