If given the chance to taste a single vineyard bottling of Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir or Chardonnay — take it. Located just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean along the Sonoma Coast, this 31-acre vineyard is one of the coolest grape-growing sites within the whole AVA. Sitting at about 800 feet in elevation on a south-facing slope, above morning fog level, the land receives maritime air from both the ocean and the Estero Americano — a “fjord-like” funnel that moves marine air through the Petaluma gap and toward the Sacramento delta. The result of this constantly cool climate: small crops with intense fruit flavors, strong levels of acidity, and lower sugar levels.
The vineyard itself is owned by Flanagan Wines, but they source out the fruit to other major players like Radio-Coteau, Littorai, and, of course Ramey.
In my small wine world, I certainly depend on the kindness of winemakers. I feel honored, privileged, yet altogether humbled by the opportunity to taste an expressive Pinot Noir sourced from the prestigious Platt Vineyard, produced by the renowned David Ramey.
David Ramey is a name known all around our Napa/Sonoma Wine Countries — and I’m sure everywhere else as well. After completing his Masters in enology from UC Davis, David started his young career by traveling abroad to France. He names his first job with Jean-Pierre Moueix in Pomerol and his time cellar-ratting in Burgundy as some of the major highlights and influences of his early winemaking life. Back in California, David moved on to work for such major players as Simi, Matanzas Creek, and Chalk Hill. But it was his decision to become the first winemaker for Dominus Estates (owned by Christian Moueix, of Pétrus) that made him realize all that he had learned and all that he was capable of. “I never dreamed of owning my own winery,” David says. Oh how dreams do change.
In 1996 he and his wife Carla founded Ramey Cellars, after Moueix agrees to let David “make a little Chardonnay on the side.” Sourcing from Hyde Vineyards, the couple celebrates their first harvest, custom crushing at Luna Vineyards, and producing their first 260 cases. Today Ramey Wine Cellars produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and even a bit of Syrah — producing, well, much more than 260 cases.