Kistler Chardonnay is a single clone Chardonnay house. One heritage Californian selection of Chardonnay planted across fifteen vineyards, from Carneros to Sonoma Valley, to the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. From those sites we produce eleven vineyard designate Chardonnays. We are wholly dedicated to the ideal of wines of site. It’s an unparalleled approach in the new world.
"We harvest our fruit in the cool of the night, stealing every cluster away from the vines under the cover of darkness when the fruit is at its freshest and brightest, and the flavors and acidities are fully intact. The fruit is in a different physiological state at three in the morning than it is at mid-day, very different"."All of our Chardonnays are fermented in our subterranean barrel chais, where the native yeast and various biological patinas rule the ecology. Hand stacked french cooperage that we purchase as wood and have air dry aged in St. Romain where it is crafted into barrels three years later, houses all of the wines".A look inside our Chardonnay fermentation There’s no leeway for even a single barrel being a quarter inch out of line in our fermentation rooms. They have to be perfectly in line, every one, to set the tone and expectation for every move we make in the cellar.
"We guide our fermentations with as little intervention as possible. Our entire process is designed to enhance the characters of the individual sites, relative to one another, to peel back further layers as opposed to leaving our mark on the wine. Our fermentations are conducted solely with native yeasts, at moderately cool temperatures and with little to no machination of the fruit."
"We don’t buy fruit in the traditional sense, instead we plant in partnership with our growers, selecting the best soils, and working very closely together on the establishment and raising of those vines with our heritage clones. The youngest relationship amongst our growers dates to 1994 when we began bottling both our Hudson and Hyde bottlings from the Carneros region".
Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler believed that remarkable and charactered Chardonnays of site could in fact be grown and produced in California. It was a notion ahead of its time. For the last forty years we’ve been pursuing that notion without compromise. Bill Price, longtime owner of Durell Vineyards purchased an interest in Kistler Vineyards from Steve in 2008. Jason Kesner joined Steve in the cellar in 2008 in order to begin to lay the groundwork for the next forty years. Steve retired from Kistler Vineyards at the end of 2017.
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