The mission of Carpenter is to make wines that speak to place rather than process. Starting in 2012, we produced Pinot Noir from a number of different sites in Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast. We sent those wines to barrel, tasting them over the next 10 months or so, and settled on the Old Road #3 Vineyard, owned and operated by the Flocchini family, as the sole source for our first vintage of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
The Flocchini Ranch, 150 acres in total, was purchased by Frank Flocchini in 1918 and was a working dairy farm until 2002, when Andrew Flocchini and his brothers sold most of the property to Sonoma Land Trust and planted 30 acres of Syrah, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Today, the Flocchini’s 16 acres of Pinot Noir are planted to five different clones: 337, Swan, La Tâche, Pommard, and 777. We have an evergreen handshake contract for 7-9 tons of Andrew’s fruit each year.
The Old Road #3 Vineyard starts in the foggy lowlands off Lakeville Highway, five miles north of the San Pablo Bay, and rolls up the foothills of the Sonoma Mountains. While we label our wines with the Sonoma Coast Appellation, Old Road #3 is actually in an overlap of the Sonoma Coast and Petaluma Gap Appellations, subject to cooling from the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Pablo Bay to the south. During the growing season, daily shifts of 50 degrees are not uncommon, along with wicked afternoon winds. Once part of the seabed, the soils here are sandy and clay loam, mixed with calcium, salt and other minerals.
The distinguishing virtues we look for in the wine made from the Old Road #3 Vineyard are balance and grace. Our aim is fully evolved varietal character and intense aromas which telegraph the terroir. We seek brightness and lift – a freshness – things for which a cool site are essential, things that make the Old Road #3 Vineyard ideal.