A Bottle of Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Sonoma Coast

Here on Rhinefarm, Pinot demands and deserves meticulous attention in the vineyard and gentle handling in the cellar, but this delicate and complicated beauty is well worth the effort. The reward is an elixir that is both vibrant and subtle.


We are proud to be a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir producer, since we all share a love of this grape that absolutely has a mind of its own. We call it Type “A” personality. Finicky and high maintenance, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir needs delicate handwork from the vineyard to bottle. We strive for balanced vines on Rhinefarm, allowing only dappled sunlight to reach the fruit. Each clone within our vineyard, as well as vine age, expresses itself in a unique way, so our methods strive to capture what nature naturally delivers. The grapes are hand-picked and gravity fed to fermenters. Very careful pump-overs allow for minimal intervention, with nature taking the lead. The older vines are natively fermented while the younger ones receive a combination of native yeast and inoculated strains. This grape variety needs the least amount of time on skins to capture the depth of flavors while maintaining balanced tannins with the nuanced flavors.


Perfectly suited for the cooler parts of the estate, this grape is the second largest crop we grow after Cabernet Sauvignon. Eight of these acres are our Heritage Clone, planted mostly in 1970, and the remaining clones are 667 and 777. All of the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir grows in the lower portion of the vineyard, a section that sits literally across the street from the Carneros appellation border and shares the cooling benefits of the fog from the San Pablo Bay to the south and the Petaluma Gap to the west. The topsoil is only 18”–30” deep, consisting of Huichica clay loam with occasional pockets of small stream gravel that have been deposited over centuries by the adjacent Arroyo Seco Creek. Beneath this layer is compacted Carneros Bay sediment that naturally restricts vigor. The climate and soils combine to maximize hangtime and tiny, concentrated berries.

To make the wine, we hand-harvest in several lots from the 14 separate blocks, the grape clusters are destemmed, then optically sorted and gravity fed directly into stainless steel fermentation tanks. A five to seven day cold soak helps develop color and intensity, with twice daily, gentle pumpovers, using louvers and screens to eliminate skin and seed contact. The wine spends 10 months in 100% French oak, 40% new.

Pairing Riffs

At Gundlach Bundschu, we make great wine but also like to have fun. We recommend enjoying our Sonoma Pinot Noir in many ways:

  • All the mushroom things
  • Camping with family
  • A Netflix marathon
  • Herb-roasted turkey or chicken
  • Gruyere and creamy cheeses


Wine Type:
Red Wine
Pinot Noir
Varietal Composition:
  • 100% Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast
TA 0.57g/100ml
Barrel Aging:
  • 100% French, 30% New
Alcohol %: