Kistler Vineyards Les Noisetiers Chardonnay

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Kistler Vineyards Les Noisetiers Chardonnay is made from specific lots from Kistler’s vineyard sites in the far western Sonoma County. It is called Noisetiers because these lots tend to produce a wine with characteristic aromas of hazelnuts and “Noisetier” is the French for hazelnut.

Kistler Vineyards is a small, family established and privately owned and operated winery dedicated to the vinification of world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using old world Burgundian techniques. It was founded in 1978 by Steve Kistler who had been inspired by Coche-Dury’s legendary white Burgundies. Kistler’s Single Vineyard Chardonnays are made using traditional French techniques and have become recognised as one of the very best producers of Californian Chardonnay. The first vintage in 1979 produced 3,500 cases of wine and since then the winery has slowly grown to the planned production level of about 35,000 cases per year.

As mentioned above, Kistler Vineyards Les Noisetiers Chardonnay is made from grapes harvest from a number of different vineyard parcels from Kistler’s vineyards in far western Sonoma County – the main sources for these are the Vine Hill Vineyard, Dutton Ranch and Trenton Roadhouse vineyards. Kistler found that there was an inherent minerality to wine produced from their vineyards planted on the coastal sandy Gold Ridge soils found here. Kistler’s Chardonnay are all made from one proprietary California heritage clone, which was originally isolated from a grand Cru Burgundy vineyard. It is the Old Wente Clone, which was developed at Wente Vineyards. The yields are kept low and with careful vineyard management (pulling leaves, trimming excess vegetation and removing clusters that will not develop) excellent quality grapes are produced. The grapes are harvested by hand at night so that the cool grapes arrive at the winery in the best possible condition.

At the winery, the grapes are carefully sorted before whole bunches are sent to the press. The juice, which is not cold-settled, is then sent to French oak barrels on fine lees where it undergoes primary fermentation using only natural yeasts. The wine is then allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation in barrel (barrels are 30% new three year air dried French oak barrels, 70% one year old barrels), it is then aged for 11 to 18 months, no battonage, prior to being rested another 3 months in tank prior to bottles. Only 294 barrels of this wine produced in 2015.

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