Flowers Vineyards & Winery
We have long admired these exquisitely crafted, elegant and nuanced wines, borne from extreme coastal terroir up in the outer reaches of the West Sonoma Coast.
Established in 1991 by Joan and Walt Flowers, pioneers of the Sonoma Coast, their vision is continued today by head winemaker Chantal Forthun. She is meticulous in her pursuit to make exceptional and truly exciting wines from these remote sites. Jeremy Seysses, of Domaine Dujac, has been consulting in recent vintages and has helped Chantal fine tune her winemaking for this unique terroir. The overall impression is that everything has been dialled back (conversely, less whole bunch) and there is now more focus on the purity of fruit. Indigenous fermentations, less maceration for the reds and a reduction in new oak have all led to greater precision and refinement in the wines. Organic and biodynamic farming is used and minimal intervention is the philosophy in the cellar.
Camp Meeting Ridge is the original vineyard, located two miles away from the Pacific Ocean. Elevations range from 1,150 to 1,450 feet positioning the vineyard above the coastal fog layer, allowing generous amounts of sunshine during the growing season. This unique combination of abundant sunshine and cooling fog rolling in and out of the vineyard creates an ideal growing environment for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Due to its extreme coastal environment and steep hillside plantings Camp Meeting Ridge has smaller grape clusters, imparting great concentration and aromatics in the wines. Hyde-Old Wente is the dominant clone of Chardonnay, known for its “hens and chicks” (grapes of all different sizes on the cluster) which through individual block farming yields a wine with layered complexity, marrying richness and intensity with great freshness and verve.
Sea View Ridge was planted in 1998 and is located 1 mile away from Camp Meeting Ridge, perched upon the Smith Ridge just 1.8 miles away from the ocean. Elevations range from 1,400 to 1,800 feet — well above the ocean fog layers that cool the vineyard from below.
With younger, volcanic ash soils the wines of Sea View Ridge are plusher and rounder on the palate compared to the denser Camp Meeting Ridge. A large percentage of the vineyard is planted to Dijon clones, yielding a wine with high-toned fruit, intense perfume, elegance and minerality.
Chantal describes Camp Meeting Ridge as the Chardonnay estate and Sea View Ridge as the true home of Pinot Noir.
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2020 | Sonoma Coast, California