Dehlinger’s estate vineyard is located just north of the town of Sebastopol and 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The vines are dry farmed in a rare and special red soil called altamont that is found along the tops of rolling hills in a small section of Sonoma County. The vineyard is trained to an Open Lyre system — a split canopy which optimizes light and air exposure on the clusters.
The 2016 year marked a respite from several years of drought. We received a substantial amount of earlyseason rain than in the years prior. A replenished soil profile resulted in a more generous quantity of grapes and wines. From the start, the wines from this vintage demonstrated an elegant personality and a round tannin profile.
This wine is our flagship and mainstay Pinot noir bottling. The red, clay-rich altamont soil marbled throughout the land was a factor that initially attracted Tom Dehlinger to what was to become the family ranch in the early 1970s. Four decades of winemaking later, we are still fascinated by the strength and character of wine grown in this rare soil type. The 2016 Altamont Pinot noir, which shows glimmers of ruby, smells of cherry, toffee, and dark raspberry. We find this wine to be balanced and nuanced, with its fruit framed by refined, chalky tannins.