Six Cloves

Elegant Sonoma wine made with a delicate Japanese touch

Sonoe Hirabayashi grew up on an apple farm in the foothills of the Northern Alps of Japan, yet she pursued a very American dream in working her way toward founding Six Cloves, her own California wine making and consulting business. After starting out working in New York in international trade and finance, Hirabayashi got bitten by the wine bug and left the east coast to study viticulture and enology at UC Davis. As her studies wound up, she began several years of internships, seasonal and full-time positions that included stints at Kusuda in New Zealand; Montsecano in Chile; and Gary Farrell, Littorai, Dehlinger, DRNK, and Sebastiani in Sonoma County. These experiences gave her the expertise as well as the confidence to conceive of a wine business with a Japan focus. Six Cloves provides consulting on exporting California wine to the Japanese market. Hirabayashi-san is also making wine she believes will appeal to Japanese consumers and match the delicacy of Japanese cuisine. 

Wine Maker

Sonoe Hirabayashi





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Wines from this Winery

SIX CLOVES Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard

The Linda Vista Vineyard lies in Oak Knoll, a cool AVA northwest of the city of Napa. Chardonnay does well in this part of the valley. Indeed, a nearby vineyard produced the Chardonnay fruit that won the infamous Paris Tasting for Chateau Montelena. The 25-year-old vines (originally planted by Beringer) are farmed sustainably and organically by Steve Matthiasson, a grape grower whose mission is to harvest healthy and fully ripe fruit for wines with balanced levels of alcohol and acidity. Sonoe Hirabayashi has made a delicious Chardonnay with the Linda Vista fruit. it’s dry and crisp, with exuberant citrus, a slightly creamy mouthfeel, and mouthwatering acidity and minerality. Judicious use of oak softened the wine without masking the pure flavors of the Chardonnay fruit. 

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¥9,570 (incl. tax)
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Magnolia is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from the Millen Vineyard and Pyaleh Vineyard on the cool, Sonoma side of the Los Carneros AVA. These vineyards are farmed by Sonoe’s former Davis classmates, who practice a sustainable form of viticulture. They don’t till the land – in order to prevent run-off into streams– use pesticides or spray sulphur on the fruit. According to Sonoe, the blend “shows the potential of these Bordeaux varieties grown in a cool climate in California. The wine exhibits pure aroma and flavor of the varieties with refined acid and low alcohol unlike counterparts of Bordeaux varieties grown in hot climates.” Red fruit flavors, a hint of bell pepper and fine tannins recall high-toned Cabernet Franc from a cool climate such as Chinon in the Loire Valley.

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¥7,700 (incl. tax)
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SIX CLOVES Pinot Noir Alder Springs Vineyard

The Alder Springs Vineyard sits at a high elevation of between 500 m - 800 m in a remote section of northern Mendocino County. The climate is generally cool throughout the summer as the Pacific Ocean is just 20 km away. First planted in the early 1990s, the vineyard grows not only Pinot Noir but also Rhone, southern French, and Spanish varieties, planted in low-vigor soils. Because the vineyard owner has a reputation for meticulous care of his vines, the fruit is purchased by some of Northern California’s top boutique wineries. The grapes for this wine were harvested on September 6th and fermented with 50% whole clusters, aged for 10 months. The wine has complex aromas of cedar box, rosemary, and flavors of black cassis and a silky tannin texture in the mouth.

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¥9,900 (incl. tax)
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