TOUR OUR VINEYARDS

Clos de la Tech's highly limited Pinot Noirs are produced from three separate, wholly owned estate vineyard domaines with distinct characteristics that provide the backbone for our world-class wines. Click on the names below to learn more about each domaine.

ELEVATION

400 ft

CLIMATE

Bayside-Mediterranean, but with no rain during the growing season

CLONES

The "clones" are the actual Pinot Noir types grafted onto the rootstocks, which are picked to match the soil, shun phylloxera and produce low vigor (because we plant the vines very close together for low yield and concentration). The clones are all from Dijon in Burgundy and certified to be genetically identical to great Burgundian clones. Each clone has an outstanding characteristic: 115, firm tannin, dark color, intense bouquet; 113, fruitiness, bouquet; and 828, the most elegant (and newest) of all Dijon clones certified by the French ENTAV agency (at a royalty of $1.00 per plant).

ROOTSTOCK

Riparia Gloire, American native grape transferred to France in the 1860s to stem the outbreak of phylloxera (root louse) that decimated all European vineyards. In a turnabout, the rootstock was then re-imported from France to the U.S. when phylloxera broke out here in the 1980s. Also, Couderc 420A, Millardet Et De Grasset 101-14-both known for low vigor, low yield and excellent fruit quality. Soil: Loamy clay, PH=7.0

LOCATION

Woodside, CA San Francisco Bay AVA
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ELEVATION

2,350 ft

CLIMATE

Mountaintop with very cool springs, occasional frosts, moderate to warm summer and fall, above the fog line during the growing season, usually ripens late September.

CLONES AND ROOTSTOCK

(115, 777) / 3309; (113, 115, 777) / RG; 114/101-14
The clone 777 is very supple and mellow. The rootstock Couderc 3309 is a little bit more vigorous than the others. We use it in poor soil.

SOILS

Ben Lomond Casrock complex; basically a fractured weathered sandstone, very well drained Sandy loam, pH=5.0, very low fertility soil site that requires management finesse.

LOCATION

Santa Cruz Mountains, CA Santa Cruz AVA
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ELEVATION

1,700 ft

CLIMATE

Powerful marine influence, springs are cool to cold, summers are very mild and moderate, warm days and cool nights. Twisty Ridge and most of Cote Sud are above the fog line, basking in refrigerated sunshine, mid to late summer and autumn are glorious, very cool nights, warm days, a Pinot Noir paradise!

CLONES AND ROOTSTOCK

(114, 115, 667, 777)/(3309 & 101-14); (115, 459, 777)/RG; (115, 777, 828)/420A

SOILS

Sweeny Stony Clay Loam; "Twisty Ridge" and "Cote Sud" are on a thin base version (18") of this clay loam atop a subsoil of very fractured rock, creating superb drainage, pH=6.5 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE is on deeper loamy clay (same soil series) overlaying the same fractured rock subsoil, pH=6.5

LOCATION

Santa Cruz Mountains, CA Santa Cruz AVA
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OUR VINEYARD PHILOSOPHY

In the quest to make the New World’s Best Pinot Noir, Clos de la Tech has experimented and studied a variety of old world and new world vine management techniques.

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CLUSTER THINNING

Smaller berries make better Pinot Noir by producing a higher skin-to-pulp ratio. Clos de la Tech thins clusters down to 9-10 per vine, which results in more berries, crowding the cluster, and reducing the number of seeds per grape (that's desirable, since the most astringent and bitter tannin resides only in seeds). The end result is very low yields and a very rich, concentrated wine.

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CONCENTRATED PLANTINGS

Clos de la Tech makes no compromises when it comes to quality, including the expensive practice of planting three to 10 times more vines per acre to achieve the high degree of concentration afforded by the extraordinarily low yield pinot vine.

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TIPPING

In tipping, the tendril and top two small leaves on each cane are manually pinched off after just 10% of the grape flowers have bloomed, causing the vine to abruptly dump a spurt of carbohydrate energy into the flowering grape clusters. It’s an expensive, laborious process that results in a darker, more perfumed wine.

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EXPERIMENTAL TRACTOR

We worked with a German wine-agricultural firm Clemens GmbH to design a tractor capable of dealing with the slope at Domaine Lois Louise. Because it is pulled up the hill by cables, it needs no motor, steering wheel or brake; control is achieved by a joystick, just like a video game. There is no other tractor in the world that has demonstrated the ability to handle both vertical slope and side slope in a close-spaced vineyard.

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