It all begins in the vineyards. Formed by the San Andreas fault, the upthrust of the coastal range is above the fog line—allowing for that critical afternoon sun—and consists of a variety of soils ideal for growing Red Car’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Winemaker Tanner Scheer and Viticulturist Greg Adams work closely together to grow the highest quality fruit possible. “We strive to produce wines of typicity that showcase the specific locations in which our fruit is grown, as well as the folks behind the glass,” says Tanner. “With each vintage, we set out to represent our varietals in their most authentic sense and to their fullest potential.”
Red Car Estate
Elev 1000 ft. / Pacific Ocean 3.7 MI.
FORT ROSS – SEAVIEW AVA
Our original estate vineyard, planted in 2005, crowns the northwestern corner of King Ridge Road above Fort Ross on the coastline of Sonoma County. It sits at 900–1000 feet and is defined by giant coastal redwoods and the fog-laden Pacific Ocean. This proximity to the ocean moderates temperatures and makes it susceptible to rain and fog during the flowering season, which keeps yields very low.
The vines are planted in fractured marine sandstone that weathered over millions of years from an uplifted seabed known as the Ohlson Ranch Formation. This soil offers the same viticultural advantages as the oft-referenced Goldridge series found in the lower West Sonoma Coast elevations around Sebastopol, yet differs by including less clay and more stone than sand in its composition. The vineyard is densely planted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.
Journey to the Red Car Estate with us.
Heaven & Earth
Elev 650 ft. / Pacific Ocean 8 MI.
All of the fruit for our Heaven & Earth Pinot Noir has been grown on a 4.5 acre site less than one mile northwest of Occidental. The vines were planted to our specifications in 2004 using the Calera, Pommard and 828 selections of Pinot Noir. When you take into account the planting density of over 2,000 vines per acre, average yields of less than 2.5 tons per acre take on new significance. Nestled into a picturesque little valley just east of the Bohemian Highway, the vineyard site is protected from the harsher offshore winds while still enjoying cool coastal temperatures. This sheltered yet cool environment keeps extreme temperatures to a minimum, effectively lengthening the hang time and enhancing site expression while preserving acidity and moderating alcohol.
Elev 850 ft. / Pacific Ocean 4.6 MI.
The Hagan Vineyard perches high above the edge of the continent fully facing the cold Pacific Ocean on the esteemed Taylor Lane west of Occidental. Dramatic, awe-inspiring and windswept, it produces wines of extraordinary complexity and perfume. We are proud to have utilized organic farming practices from the beginning. This site sits along the tiny ridgeline at the end of Taylor Lane with some of the most revered Pinot Noir vineyards in the country.
Elev 525 ft. / Pacific Ocean 8 MI.
Carved out of the lows hills above Freestone, a tiny village on the West Sonoma Coast, sits the seven acre vineyard known as Zephyr Farms. Deep coastal fog and afternoon westerly winds yield tiny berries, resulting in wines with racy natural acid and minerality. These wines combine concentration of fruit with brightness on the palate. The qualities are attributable to the intense winds the grapes face (Zephyr quite literally means a western wind in Greek). This site, planted in 2000, is now fully mature and 100% focused on Chardonnay.
Mohrhardt Ridge Vineyard
Elev 1400 feet ft. / Pacific Ocean 5.0 MI.
The Mohrhardt Ridge Vineyard is located in the Fort Ross – Seaview AVA, a region known primarily for its incredible Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards. And while we grow Chardonnay at this remote site, the Cabernet Sauvignon is unique for this AVA. The vineyard is perched high on a ridge a couple of miles inland from our Estate Vineyard, which provides just enough additional warmth to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon. Discovering 30 year old vines in this area, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to embrace the true coastal history of the Médoc by farming the vineyard and making wine from this little gem.