Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard long before the harvest and, that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in wine that is grown, not made. Pinot Noir of all the classic grapes is the most difficult to make into wine. It mutates easily in the vineyard (a large number of clones have already been identified), is highly sensitive to climate and changes in soil composition, and is unstable during winemaking.
General Manager and Winemaker, Jon Priest echoes Etude Wines founder, Tony Soter when saying, “There’s no better vehicle with which to study or practice the craft of winemaking than Pinot Noir. It is the most challenging, unforgiving and quixotic of all wine grapes, and yet the most delicate and transparent.”
The Etude Pinot Experience is an immersion in the knowledge and excellence of Pinot Noir winemaking. It engages the senses wherever it is encountered. In the vineyards the Experience is hands-on with crop estimates or pruning and, in the tasting room the Experience is an interactive adventure using maps and soil samples. Regardless of location, The Pinot Experience always showcases Etude Wines and the distinctive vineyard variations of the Estate, known as Grace Benoist Ranch.
The Etude Estate Vineyards are configured into dozens of individual vineyards, each a carefully planned matrix of soil type, root stock, grape variety and clonal selection. Planted vineyards vary from one-half acre to over twenty-eight acres in size, with only eight acres being the average. Etude’s celebrated Pinot Noirs, including a highly regarded bottling made from rare heirloom varieties.