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This silky, cherry-driven Pinot Noir comes
from land that was first planted to grapes by
a pioneering Frenchman in the 1850s.
What You Need To Know
It takes a leap of faith to buy a winery
built on the San Andreas fault, but John and Phyllis Blackburn and
their son Cort didn’t blink when the opportunity to buy Pietra
Santa arose in 2005. Longtime almond farmers, the Blackburns
were captivated not just by the beauty of Santa Pietra’s location
in the Gabilan Range, but by the ground underfoot. Santa Pietra
and its neighboring estates, which include Josh Jensen’s iconic
Calera winery, exploit a rare pocket of limestone soil. It’s the
same type of chalky dirt found in Burgundy, the home of the
world’s greatest Pinot Noirs, and helps explain the relatively firm
structure of Santa Pietra’s 2011 bottling. The Cienega Valley’s
obscurity—it’s about 25 miles east of Monterey—explains
the affordable price.
Sassafras, cherries and
Rich, firm plum, berry and
Cellar temperature—the bottle should be
cool to the touch.
Pork, poultry, feathered game
and hearty vegetable dishes.