Morgan Hill-based Lightpost Winery pays tribute to the power of California-grown pinot noir with four new wines, made from grapes harvested in some of this state’s best-known pinot regions—including San Luis Obispo, Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties. Together, the quartet speak to their respective terroirs and of winemaker Christian Roguenant’s eagerness to showcase unique characteristics of some of his favorite appellations.

“Pinot noir is a varietal that does not like heat,” Roguenant explains, noting that vineyards close to the ocean will remain cooler and help the delicate, thin-skinned pinot grapes maintain their acidity and color.

In selecting the sources of these four pinots—all of which took home medals in the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition—Roguenant and Lightpost-owner Sofia Fedotova were exacting in their requirements. They considered not only the atmospheric environment, but the health of the vineyard itself, regularly speaking with vineyard managers and surveying the respective properties to ensure their grapes were properly cared for.

“It all starts with the quality of the fruit,” Roguenant says.

The 2018 Russian River Pinot (Gold), clone 2A and 667 from a vineyard in Guerneville, shows ripe berry, medium intensity, baking spice and soft cherry-cola notes. Heading south, the 2018 San Luis Obispo Pinot (Gold), also clone 2A and 667, ups the ante with abundant earth, leather and savory aromas, and a wonderful structure, layered with dark cherry and chewy tannins, adding great length.

The 2018 Spanish Springs Vineyard (Gold), hails from a 50-acre plot near Pismo Beach, and is made of 100 percent Swan clone—one of Christian’s favorites. This is a stunning red-headed beauty, exhibiting leather, incense, red cherry and cranberry, all wrapped in svelte tannin.

Of the lot, the one with the most ageworthy horsepower is the head-turning 2018 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot (Silver) from the dry-farmed Ferrari Vineyard. Notes of the forest floor and an everlasting spice help give this wine an impressive structure.

In speaking with Roguenant and Fedotova it is clear that the pair are proud of these four labels, and they hope their customers will appreciate the variety they have brought to the table.

“We wanted to offer the people of Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Jose a flight over California of pinot noir,” Roguenant says.

Lightpost Winery
900 Lightpost Way, Morgan Hill