News and Events

We’ve moved our blog!

by Serena on August 25, 2013

We moved our blog over to our new website.  You can find all the entries from 2009 to current on the new blog. 

Thank you for continuing to follow our story.

– Alan & Serena


San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2013

by Serena on January 31, 2013

We are delighted to announce that the three Pinot Noirs submitted to the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition all won awards. The 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir received a double gold and both of our 2010 vineyard designate wines (2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2010 Perli Vineyard Pinot Noir) won silvers.  Congratulations Alan!   – Serena


This is a two part interview that Maria Ross of Red Slice did with Alan.  Part one starts at the very beginning of the Cellar Rat Cellars days.

It’s really neat to be able to look back and see how the actions and decisions Alan made in 2005 have landed us where we are today with Cartograph. I can’t emphasize it enough about how important it is to follow your dreams.  – Serena


Pinot on the River 2012

by Serena on October 22, 2012

We had a great time pouring for the third year in a row at Pinot on the River which was right on the main plaza in Healdsburg.  The weather was gorgeous, the crowd was interesting and inquisitive, and the wines showed beautifully.

Alan and I decided to pour the newly released 2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot noir and the 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot noir side by side.  The 2010 vineyard designate has three Pinot clones – 667, Pommard, and 828.  Given the unusually cool spring and summer, we picked the fruit two weeks later than the 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot noir.  Given that we picked the 2010  at lower sugar levels and higher acidity than 2009, this wine is racy and vibrant and has a delicateness that is very different than the opulent lushness of the 2009.  The 2009 Floodgate Pinot had a much warmer growing season and is four clones of Pinot – 777, 667, 828, and Pommard.  Also, given that it is a year older, the 2009 is showing more of the earthy soul that defines Floodgate Vineyard.  It was really fun to see people’s reactions to both wines and to talk through how the wines are different and simultaneously similar.

It’s an amazing event to  be able to taste such a variety of Pinot from limited production west coast Pinot noir winemakers.  Mark your calendars for next year,  it’s a Sonoma County wine weekend you won’t want to miss.  – Serena



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





Cartograph Featured in Artful Living Magazine

by Serena on January 18, 2011

Back in November we had the pleasure of meeting the writer David Mahoney who was in Sonoma county to interview winemakers with ties to Minnesota.  During his visit, David interviewed  Dave Ready from Murphy-Goode, Scott Adams from Bella Winery, Dan Gustafson of Gustafson Family Vineyards, and our winemaker Alan Baker.

We had a great time tasting David on our 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir which had recently been bottled, the 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Gewurztraminer, and the 2006 Wentzel Vineyard Pinot Noir which was the first commercial wine Alan made.  We chatted about the 2009 and 2010 harvests, Alan’s winemaking philosophy, and the story behind Alan’s move in 2005 from Minnesota to Healdsburg to pursue winemaking.  Floodgate Vineyard November 2010As the fog lifted we went out to Floodgate Vineyard. It’s always fun to taste the wine and then actually see the vines from which the grapes come.  It was one of those beautiful wine country days where the colors of the leaves in the vineyard were vivid, and the fog was rolling back to reveal a brilliant blue sky with a hint of someone’s wood fire in the air.

David’s article, titled “Living in Zin” came out in January’s issue of Artful Living.

We are looking forward to being in the Twin Cities the last week of January and meeting the Artful Living team.

— Serena


Minnesota Release Party for Cartograph Wines

August 12, 2010

How do you say thank you to the people who helped you launch a new winery? You pour them copious amounts of wine, that’s how. We had a great time pouring at the Chowgirls Gallery ( in Minneapolis last week.  Many friends who had seen me leave Minnesota in 2005 to commence my winemaking journey […]

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Cartograph’s release in T-minus 9 days ….

June 11, 2010

June 11, 2010 professional bottle shots done tech sheets done web content done wine is labeled and tastes awesome (am biased) …. only about 50 more things to do in the next nine days!  Can’t wait to share these wines with everyone!! Serena

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Cartograph is California Bonded Winery #16623

December 6, 2009

December 06, 2009 It’s Official, We’re a Winery! It’s almost unbelievable but after months of questionnaires, finger printing, background checks, trademark battles, and registering with about a dozen government agencies, we’re legit, and can start selling wine under our new label. We’ll be laying out the cool concept behind Cartograph and publishing our new website […]

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