The Vision

It all started with a dream about Pinot Noir. A true visionary in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Gary Pisoni has worked tirelessly since collecting and making his first wines in the 1970’s, planting Pisoni Vineyards in 1982, and the producing of the first Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir with his sons in 1998. As dreamers often do, Gary felt something on his family’s land that was seemingly not there and followed his intuition relentlessly to uncover it. Multiple costly drilling attempts failed before bringing water up from beneath the solid granite that makes up the hillsides, a feat so many believed to be impossible.

Today, Gary’s vision of Pinot Noir in the rugged and rocky mountains above the Salinas Valley has been more than realized. Multiple blocks of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah varietals pepper the landscape at elevations from 900 to 1,300 feet, from which we produce wines that seem destined to come from this remarkable site. As a winemaker, Gary has always been intent on communicating the personality of the land from which the wine was grown a task he now shares with his sons, vineyard manager Mark and vintner Jeff.

Few growers have had as big an impact on the Santa Lucia Highlands as Gary Pisoni.

Augustus Weed, Wine Spectator
Two vintages of Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir representing twenty years of winemaking under the Pisoni Estate label: 1998 to 2018
Two vintages of Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir representing twenty years of winemaking under the Pisoni Estate label: 1998 to 2018

Winemaking

The Pisoni brothers work in close collaboration to continue their father’s vision. Just as Vineyard Manager, Mark, approaches growing and harvesting in the vineyard block-by-block, Winemaker, Jeff, vinifies in small lots, hand-sorting grapes, observing, tasting, and testing them as they undergo native yeast fermentation, and carefully supervising their lives in the cellar. Our wine is the product of their joint sustained and meticulous attention.

Together with legendary French winemaker Emile Peynaud, we believe that wine is at once “a reflection of the people who make it and the region that produces it.” Each bottle from Pisoni Vineyards encapsulates Gary’s unyielding passion for remarkable wine, the decisions both Mark and Jeff make in the vineyard and cellar in any given year, as well as the terroir of each individual block of the vineyards.

Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir

Each year, we dedicate our energy and efforts to crafting one distinguished Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir which demonstrates our connection with the vineyard and communicates the nature of its hardy, granitic soils and the windswept hillsides that rise around it. We practice great vigilance over the fruit, aiming for modest yields in order to obtain our Estate Pinot Noir’s intense character, rich color, and exuberant aromatics. Production is extremely limited, varying annually between 500-800 cases.

In addition to farming incredible fruit for our Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir released every Fall season, we supply grapes to just a few artisanal producers of vineyard-designated wines. Our commitment to quality lies in successful farming, stewardship, and sustainability that will ensure Gary’s vision endures for generations to come. For information on obtaining Pisoni wines, click here.

. . . this is, year in and year out, one of the most impressive Pinot Noirs from California.

Jeb Dunnack, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Jeff Pisoni supervises the life of the Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir in the cellar.
Jeff Pisoni supervises the life of the Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir in the cellar.