August 2012

New Pinot noir sources!

by Serena on August 28, 2012

Having worked with the same two Pinot vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Mendocino Ridge for four years now, we’ve branched out and added new vineyards and appellations to our world of Pinot.  It is with pleasure that we introduce two new Pinot noir vineyards: Roma’s Vineyard in Anderson Valley and a soon to be named vineyard in the Russian River Valley.


Roma’s Vineyard is a sustainably farmed vineyard located on the north east rim of Anderson Valley  above Booneville.  It sits at 1900 feet in elevation.  Because it is a cooler location, the grapes begin ripening much later than in the Russian River Valley which subsequently means it ends up being the last vineyard we pick during the harvest season.  And, even when the grapes do ripen, there are other predators we are competing with to harvest the grapes …. bears.  Yes, you read that correctly. Hungry bears spotted the ripening grapes last year and picked off multiple rows leaving naked canes as they exited the vineyard.  Cross your fingers that the grapes ripen this year before the bears find them.


The vineyard that is currently nameless (although there are several choices being bandied about and the decision on the name is coming soon) is located in the north end of the Russian River Valley on Westside road.  This vineyard is a dream vineyard for a winemaker specializes in small lots of Pinot (AKA Alan Baker) because there are 6 different pinot noir clones on the property!  The clones are: 1A, 2A, 667, 777, Pommard, 115.  The root stock is very low vigor which means less yield per grape vine.  We’re thrilled at the opportunity to get this fruit and also excited to be once again working with our great friend Warren Burton who is looking after the grapes.

– Serena

Images from the new RRV vineyard:


The Story of the Wine on Every Label

by Alan on August 16, 2012

Any of you who have met Serena or me, or have even glanced at what we have been up to, know that we’re a pretty geeked out couple. We’re online more than we care to admit and love swimming in the myriad details that surround grape growing and the wine making process. So it stands to reason that we love sharing the seasonal details of all our vineyard sources with those of you who might be similarly inclined.

However, I don’t think a blow by blow of each location for each year makes very compelling reading after the fact so we’ve always incorporated this information right on the back label. We think is a novel approach and giving this shorthand view lets you see what kind of a growing season it was, and how our vineyard sources differ. Of course this means that every label has to go to the feds for approval but we think it is worth it. Check it out below





We’ve now had a full year in our tasting room, Garagiste Healdsburg, and it’s fun to look back on all the great moments and everything we’ve learned.   It’s amazing when I think about how many people we have met and conversations we have had with people who are discovering our wines for the first time as well as the people who keep coming back and referring their friends because they love what we are doing. As I think back to the first month where I was so nervous behind the bar that my hands would shake as I poured wine, to now when I look forward to my time in the tasting room and get excited about sharing our wines with people, I realize this year has been one more step in our Cartograph journey and I am loving it!


Here are my favorite things about having a tasting room:

  • Being able to share our passion about making Cartograph wines with others
  • Connecting with people who have been following our story and can now come taste the wines with us
  • Sharing our wines with people who are trying it for the first time
  • Hearing about where people have taken our wines and who they have shared them with
  • Being able to taste our wines every day and seeing the progression as the wines evolve and age in bottle
  • Supporting local artists and musicians by having a venue where they can play music and show their art

I hope you’ll be able to come visit us if you have not been to Garagiste Healdsburg yet.  We’d love to see you!

– Serena