Pinot Noir – Gravenstein Highway – Sonoma Coast
The core element of this Pinot Noir comes from the vineyards near Gravenstein Highway in Sonoma County, a road named after the rare Gravenstein Apple, a historic symbol of the region’s agricultural traditions. Sources include several sites across Russian River (75%) and Peter Paul’s star in the Petaluma Gap (25%), Terra de Promissio (TDP). For Gravenstein Highway, they always seek to achieve a balance between aromatic purity, graceful complexity, and a refreshing bright style of Pinot Noir. 11 month maturation in 20% New French Oak. 676 cases produced.
2021 Gravenstein Highway is another sexy spirit-lifter, with sweet aromas of brambly wild fruits, blackberry, sage, cardamom, and white pepper. This is super juicy in the glass, with refined, talc-like tannins framing an exquisitely balanced personality. The 2021 has mouthwatering acidity and is reminiscent of the 2019 with a savory-cut of olive, sage and earth, whilst being slightly darker in hue. That’s likely due to the higher percentage of the Terra de Promissio element, which always delivers pigment presence among its many qualities. This year’s Gravenstein Highway effectively sets the standard of our style: lightness with complexity.
Side note: Peter Paul has moved to lighter, thinner glass to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the movement and transport of their wines.
About the Producer
Peter Paul Wines seeks to showcase the sunny, easygoing temperament of fruit grown in California without losing the more refined elements of the grape’s DNA and European heritage. Each of their wines presents the hallmark characteristics of the terroir, while hitting that sweet spot of ripe but not overblown, elegant but not anemic, with everything in proper proportion.
When Peter was a just a teenager in the early 1960s, his father purchased a case of Château d’Yquem on sale at $10 a bottle and he became hooked on wine before being old enough to buy it. Meanwhile a job in the financial services industry brought him to Southern California in 1975. Two years later, Peter “escaped” to northern California where wine country beckoned as it always does. Today, Peter is the CEO of Headlands Asset Management LLC, an investment management company he founded in 2008. But for Peter, becoming a vintner was clearly something that was going to happen sooner or later. In 2002, the first vintage of Peter Paul Wines was bottled. Over a decade and numerous critical scores and awards later, Peter Paul Wines is a well-respected yet small virtual California winery. With barely 2,000 cases produced annually, Peter Paul sources grapes from select vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma counties.
Martin Reyes is the GM and winemaker at Peter Paul Wines. A first-generation American, Martin is the first Master of Wine of Mexican descent. With a 16-year career as a respected buyer, importer, and educator, he has held influential roles in many sectors of the industry. Martin’s wine story began with an over-indulgent dinner while studying in Paris as a Stanford undergrad and, by 2003, he was stocking shelves at his local wine shop. After working the retail side for several years, Martin became the principal buyer for an importer operating prominent wine club programs for partners like The New York Times and Williams-Sonoma. In 2015, he was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers. In his free time, Martin teaches WSET courses, attempts to become fluent in a fifth language, and raises his daughter trilingually, together with his wife in Vallejo, CA.
Trevor Smith acts as vineyard and winemaking consultant. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, he attended Texas A&M University and received a BA in History. After three years in the service, he began working in wine retail in Dallas, Texas before returning to Oregon and working on the production side. After winemaking stints in the Willamette Valley, Barossa Valley and Napa Valley he has settled in Sonoma County and joined the Peter Paul team in 2020.