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  • (707) 237-3489
  • 4401 Slusser Road
    Windsor, CA 95492
  • Open Daily 10am - 4pm
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Why Pinot?

Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to get right. Thin-skinned and temperamental, it’s among the most delicate varieties, and the conditions must be near perfect to produce exceptional fruit. So why would a winery known for its award-winning Chardonnay even bother with such an intractable addition?

It’s a fair question, and one that’s been asked on more than a few occasions. The original inspiration had a lot to do with the vision of former Director of Winemaking, Terry Adams. It took some convincing to get the team on board. Rumor has it, a covert late-night planting session was required to produce evidence that Pinot Noir is, in fact, an ideal fit for Sonoma-Cutrer’s terroir.

Producing Pinot is a natural evolution for a winery grounded in Burgundian winemaking traditions. The two major grape varietals grown in Burgundy, France happen to be Chardonnay and – you guessed it – Pinot Noir.

It doesn’t hurt that the Russian River Valley boasts near ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir grapes. Recently, Wine Enthusiast© magazine even named the winery’s home turf one of the top six areas for growing exceptional Pinot Noir.

The goal of Sonoma-Cutrer has always been to craft wines that reflect their unique terroir, and Pinot Noir is no exception. The grapes come from The Cutrer, Vine Hill, Owsley and Les Pierres vineyards. The unique terroir of each vineyard, from Owsley’s dramatic temperature fluctuations to Vine Hill’s 400-foot elevation change, is directly responsible for producing fruit with concentrated, complex flavors.

The meticulous craft and attention to detail required to produce extraordinary Pinot is a natural fit for Sonoma-Cutrer – even when it means processing by hand and building an entirely separate production facility known as “The Pinot Barn.”

It’s been more than a decade since the winery’s first foray into Pinot Noir production, and today four distinctive varieties are among Sonoma-Cutrer’s offerings. Among a well-decorated group, the popular Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has been awarded a gold medal from some of the most prestigious wine competitions every year since 2009.

Twelve years into the “experiment,” Pinot Noir is no longer the new kid on the block, and has proven to be a worthy companion to Sonoma-Cutrer’s fine Chardonnays.

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Sonoma-Cutrer’s top priority is always to protect the health and wellness of our guests and employees. Our team has been actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, especially as it relates to Sonoma County, CA. We have decided to suspend all tours and tastings at Sonoma-Cutrer beginning March 14, 2020.

As we all navigate through this dynamic situation, our goal is to further minimize risk to our valued guests, employees and the potential spread of the virus to their families and communities. While we expect this disruption to our tours and tastings to be temporary, our closure will remain in place until this health emergency subsides and officials declare it safe to resume normal activity. 

In the meantime, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. You may contact our tasting room at (707) 237-3489 or [email protected]. For wine club questions, please call (707) 237-3498 or email [email protected]. We will be checking our phone messages and emails daily.

Additionally, you may find information as it pertains specifically to Sonoma County, CA at

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