What Altitude Tastes Like 2,742 feet above sea level
Among the first to recognize the potential in the remote mountains of the Mendocino Ridge, Signal Ridge Vineyard was established in 1999 and remains a testament to our relentless pursuit for excellence. We embrace the challenges of mountain top farming as an opportunity to produce singular, expressive wines of exceptional quality.
Representing bravery, balance, and uniqueness, our label conveys the terroir and traditions that define Signal Ridge. These qualities are also reflected in every bottle of wine we produce. Experience where passion meets perfection.
The Essence of Signal Ridge
Signal Ridge Vineyard resides at an elevation of 2,742 feet on weathered-in-place mountaintop soils nine miles from the Pacific Ocean in the uniquely non-contiguous Mendocino Ridge AVA. Intense steep slopes, tight spacing, and varied exposures create a diversity rarely seen in New World vineyards. The extreme nature of the site and cool, coastal climate demands intensive hand tending and intuitive farming practices. Six clones of Pinot Noir were thoughtfully selected to best suit the fractured marine sediment soils and to create wines of depth and concentration. Our long commitment to organic, regenerative viticulture and dry farming has resulted in resilient, deeply rooted vines that weather the ever-changing climatic conditions with ease.
Attention to Detail
In the cellar, we use time-honored winemaking techniques and a gentle touch to allow for ultimate expression. The grapes are carefully hand-picked, sorted, and placed in a combination of small, upright oak and concrete fermenters. The use of concrete and wood vessels promote a slow and controlled fermentation that encourage the health of the native yeasts, while also preserving natural acidity and enhancing mineral texture. The addition of whole clusters helps to balance the inherent richness of the site and adds to the aromatic complexity of the finished wine. After fermentation is complete, the wine is transferred to neutral French oak barrique, where malolactic fermentation occurs naturally and at its own pace. The wine is then aged for 18 months before being bottled unfined with minimal effective SO2.
Poetry In A Bottle
Our 2019 Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir exemplifies the quality of our Estate vineyard and begins to define its legacy. Deeply fragrant, mid-weight and impeccably balanced, an intricate bouquet of Moroccan spice, mint, and pine is complemented by notes of pomegranate, blood orange, and sous bois. The finely woven, rustic tannins and deep mineral intensity elevate the wine into the realm of the sublime and promises a long evolution in both the glass and the cellar.
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Organically Farmed, Dry Farmed
- Harvest Date 9/16/2019
- Co-Fermented Blend of 2A, 115, 777, and Swan, 30% Whole Cluster
- Raised in Neutral French Barrique
- 13% Alc., 3.7 pH, 7 TA
- 5 Barrels Produced
“When I first discovered the land that would become Signal Ridge Vineyard over two decades ago, I was captivated. I thought that the interplay—or tension—between the persistent Pacific sun coupled with cooling maritime winds at 2,700 feet of elevation and steep slopes of fractured sandstone and ultramafic rock above the fogline could make for grapes that produced delicious wine with exceptional tension of its own. After years of experimentation and cultivation in farming this unique, extreme environment, I think we’ve done just that.”
Joanna began her Winemaking career in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley before joining Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa, renowned for their pioneering Organic and Biodynamic Pinot Noir. As Associate Winemaker for Kutch Wines in Sonoma, she produced critically acclaimed, industry-leading Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. While there, she began her own project, Model Farm, creating single vineyard wines from compelling terroir in Sonoma and the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 2015, she was introduced to Signal Ridge Vineyard and has remained dedicated to crafting the wines from this extraordinary vineyard.
“I count myself lucky to have been born and raised as a farmer in Mexico, and even luckier to have made it to America for a shot at a brighter future. But luck only goes so far. Hard work and dedication brought me to Signal Ridge, where I feel truly blessed to tend this special land, work with amazing folks, and create exceptional wines."