Our Highlands Bench Pinot Noir originates from the Costa Vineyard, just west of the Soledad Mission in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey. We partnered with the Costa family in 2008 to establish a vineyard in this great location, choosing the highest elevations and most gravelly soils for planting five different clones of Pinot Noir. The close proximity to Monterey Bay, the eastern slope and aspect, and the elevation above the valley floor provide a cool, sunny, and ideal environment for growing intensely-flavored Pinot Noir.
Rainfall returned to normal in the Santa Lucia Highlands in 2018 after a four year stretch of below normal precipitation. It was unusual to have temperatures in the 80s in February, and this got the season off to an early start. A cooler than usual summer period in July and August aided color development during veraison. September temperatures swung from cool to warm, offering ripe flavors. Our top blocks for the season was Dijon clone 777 blended with a small percentage of the Joseph Swan clone.