In Pursuit of Pinot Noir Perfection

Named for the Babylonian goddess of wine, who held the wine of eternal life in her cup,  Siduri produces singular Pinot Noir from top vineyards and appellations along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, from the Santa Inez Valley near Santa Barbara to the Chehalem Mountains outside of Portland. Siduri is operated by Adam and Dianne (Novy) Lee, a husband and wife team of winemakers. Originally from Texas, they met as employees at Nieman Marcus in Dallas, discovered a shared passion for wine, and, unlike most who prefer just drinking their vino, set out for California to learn how to make it. After the success of their first commercial vintage - 107 cases of 1994 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir - they never looked back, establishing a winemaking facility in Santa Rosa and growing into what Robert Parker calls “one of California’s top Pinot Noir producers.”       Practitioners of the belief that “great wine is made in the vineyard,” the Lees maintain close relationships with their growers, purchasing grapes by the acre rather than by the ton. This gives them control over the vineyards such that they yield grapes with character and concentration instead of large crops. With their vineyards designated upon the wine label, the growers share in the glory of producing great wine without fear of taking a financial loss.  In the winery, the Lees also aim on expressing the character and flavor of the vineyards by letting the wine “make itself,” by using natural yeasts when possible, and never filtering or fining. In fact, blending is the key to their art. By vinifying different vineyards, blocks and clones separately, they can harmonize the components into a blend that best expresses the character of a particular place.  Although Siduri focuses exclusively on Pinot Noir, the Lees do make Syrah, Zinfandel and more through their sister winery, Novy – which is Dianne’s maiden name. At Novy, they adhere to the same principles that work so well for Siduri: locate great vineyard sites and work down to the level of each individual vine so that it may produce fruit with character, concentration, and the perfect balance of acid and ripeness.