Husband and wife team Ted and Heidi Lemon are behind this family-run winery, established in 1993. Ted began his career in Burgundy and has worked for some of the region's top estates including Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault where he was winemaker and vineyard manager, the first American to ever hold such a position in Burgundy! Heidi has similarly worked for some of California's top producers including Robert Long Vineyards and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Ted and Heidi's mission with Littorai was to find the best spot to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay along the littoral (coastal) zones of the U.S.A. They searched the west coast before finally finding their top spot in the 'true' north of California - the coastal mountains of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. All the vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2001 and there is minimal intervention in the winemaking.
Ted has known Charles, owner of the Charles Heintz Vineyard, for many years. The site was planted in 1983 and Ted has been sourcing fruit from the same five rows for over 25 years. At 250 metres above sea level, it sits on a gently rolling plateau, seven miles west of the Pacific. The vines are planted on Gold Ridge loam soils over Franciscan shale with a top layer of sandy loam and farmed organically.
The fruit was whole bunch pressed and settled overnight with no fining or filtration. After settling, only the free-run juice was used and transferred to 228 litre French oak barrels (20% new) with a small proportion moved to stainless steel barrels, to contribute freshness and elegance to the finished wine. Fermentation began using natural yeasts before the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. After 12 months in barrel, the wine was racked with the fine less into stainless steel tank where it remained a few months prior to bottling.
Inviting stone fruit and tropical aromas are complemented by subtle notes of chamomile and pastry. The richness and generosity of the palate is beautifully underpinned with mouth-watering acidity.