A Taste of Burgundy in the American West

When Evening Land Vineyards first burst on the wine scene a few years ago, everyone was impressed by its silky-smooth, expressive bottlings of Pinot Noir.

Since then, however, the winery has gained just as much attention for its amazing renditions of Chardonnay.

Seemingly out of nowhere, it has established itself as one of the premier makers of Burgundian varietals in the United States. And it even has a few authentic Burgundy bottlings in its portfolio.

“The Evening Land” has long been a symbol of the dream quest for the perfect garden. From ancient Greek myth to now, the search for The Evening Land is synonymous with adventure and romance that inevitably leads to the extremes of America’s West Coast.

Evening Land Vineyards has brought together a collection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards in three great growing regions of the American West. From the Eola Hills in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, to the Sonoma Coast in the town of Occidental, Calif., and ending on the western lip of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Rita Hills, Evening Land organically farms more than 120 acres of heritage vineyards that produce 13 estate wines imbued with a unique spirit of place.

An orchestrated mix of old-vine and own-rooted Oregon and California heritage clones, cuttings from the great established Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards of Burgundy, and an experimental block of Pinot Noir grown from seed, the vineyards of Evening Land present a vivid view of Burgundy’s legendary grapes raised in the amazing diversity of America’s climate and soil.

The opportunity to acquire great vineyard sites in three diverse climates gave Evening Land a rare opportunity to explore the sensitivity of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as it thrives in the red volcanic dirt of Oregon, the fog-wrapped ridges of Sonoma and the windswept mountains of decomposed sea shells of the Santa Rita Hills.

Soil and climate diversity make their mark on Evening Land wines, creating those delicious differences that are the hallmark of fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Farming and winemaking techniques in each of the Evening Land Vineyards are deployed to align the wines closely with each of the individual and unique terroirs.

In Oregon, consulting winemaker Dominique Lafon leads winemaker Isabelle Meunier and her winery and vineyard team, employing his unique vision springing from 25 years as the winemaker at one of Burgundy’s legendary Estates.

Shaped by these Burgundian traditions, Sashi Moorman leads his team in the winery and the vineyards to produce elegant and rich wines from both Sonoma and Santa Rita.

Evening Land uses a color-coded labeling system to differentiate its various bottlings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Blue Label wines provide a window into the sensitivity of the varieties to the unique climates of Oregon, California and Burgundy, and carry those simple geographic designations.

Narrowing the focus, the Silver Label wines represent Evening Land’s “village” wines. They retain the impact of their climate, coupled with the unique topography and soil characteristics of their specific villages. Designations include Seven Springs from Oregon, and Occidental Coast from California.

The Gold Label bottlings are Evening Land’s signature monopole estate wines. These wines provide a singular capture of each vineyard’s unique climate, topography, soil, plant material, farming practices and winemaking – terroir in its most complete expression.

The designations include Seven Springs Vineyard La Source from Oregon, and Two Daughters Vineyard from the Sonoma Coast.

Finally, when a special and very specific place within the vineyard produces fruit of such spectacular character that it calls for its own cuvee, Evening Land gives it a White Label. These are the pinnacle examples of the vineyard’s best self.

Designations to date have included Seven Springs Vineyard Summum and Seven Springs Vineyard The Red Queen from Oregon, and Occidental Vineyard from the Sonoma Coast.

One word of warning: Evening Land wines can be expensive, particularly the Gold Label and White Label bottlings. But if you are a true fan of Burgundian wines, you owe it to yourself to seek out a bottle and open it when a very special occasion comes along.

WINERY 4-1-1

Evening Land Vineyards

Lompoc, California



Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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