Country: California  Region: Cienega Valley  Grape: Pinot Gris

Pietra Santa is a family-run estate producing artisanal wines and olive oils. It’s located in the town of Hollister in the Cienega Valley AVA. The site was planted to wine grapes in the 1850’s by Frenchman Theophile Vache, who chose the location because of the maritime climate and unique soils. In 2005 the property was purchased by the Blackburns, a family dedicated to preserving and building upon this magnificent winemaking history.

Located 25 miles from Monterey Bay, Pietra Santa benefits from cool coastal breezes that allow for a long growing season. The estate’s location on the San Andreas Fault provides soils rich with granite and limestone that naturally lower yields and add distinctive flavors to the wines. It was named Pietra Santa, Italian for Sacred Stone, in honor of these exceptional soils. Due to the mountainous terrain, only 120 of the estate’s 450 acres are planted with wine grapes, the oldest dating to 1905.

From 100% Pinot Gris grown at the highest elevation on the estate, the slow-ripening grapes develop both rich texture and heady aromas. Crisp acidity and refreshingly fruity (mangoes, peaches and citrus), total production was a mere 1,650 cases. Enjoy this yellow/green wine now, chilled, with oysters on the half-shell, crab salad, cold vichyssoise and grilled shrimps.  

Pietra Santa Pinot Gris: PINOT GRIS GRAPES — Also identified as Pinot Grigio and Rulander, this white grape with a hint of lavender is capable of producing superior rich, complex wines. Its spiciness is seldom encountered in other varieties. This grape is responsible for many grand flavored, sweet fortified wines produced throughout the world with hues from white to yellow to slightly pink in color. The skin of this grape is more hued than most other whites, but be assured the grape is a true white. It originated in France as a mutation of Pinot Noir.


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Tracie Burket
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