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The Vineyards Cool-Climate sites from the West Sonoma Coast and Beyond

Ernest owns and leases 5 vineyards across 34 acres in Freestone-Occidental, one of the more extreme cool-climate areas of the West Sonoma Coast. Each site is certified organic and sustainably farmed by Ernest’s small team of 4 dedicated agricultural specialists using regenerative methods. Beyond the estate properties, Ernest purchases fruit from a few independent farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties who farm organically.

Cleary Freestone Ranch, Fog

Cleary Ranch Freestone-Occidental, Sonoma Coast

Cleary Ranch encompasses the 14 acres of Ernest’s vines in foggy Freestone Valley. Only 7 miles from the Pacific, it is one of the coldest areas in all of west Sonoma Coast with the marine layer lingering well into mid-day and returning late afternoon. Goldridge soil with clay peppering closer to Salmon Creek. The extremely cool climate allows for extended hang time before harvest delivering deep complexity.  

Joyce Vineyard, Fog

Joyce Vineyard Freestone-Occidental, West Sonoma Coast

On the ridge just above Freestone Valley, linked together in chilly fog, sits Joyce Vineyard. Ernest leased and began farming the site organically in 2017. At only 3-acres and planted entirely to Chardonnay, it the smallest property we farm and one of the very coldest. Goldridge soil predominates and Clone 5 of Chardonnay will perennially deliver citrus flavors and bright acidity in this environment.

Alder Springs

Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

Alder Springs Vineyard is known for producing exceptional fruit, specifically focusing on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and other Rhone varieties. A small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon is planted along with many of the lesser known varietals like Ernest Vineyards' Petite Arvine & Trousseau. Alder Springs is a 6,000 acre ranch with approximately 140 acres planted to vines in Northern Mendocino. The site is just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and ranging from 1,700 to 2,700 feet of elevation. Ernest Vineyards' rows are organically farmed in this high-altitude, coastal vineyard.

Henry David Vineyard Vine Close Up

Bennett Valley Vineyard Sonoma County

Sourced from an 18-acre vineyard in Sonoma County’s Bennett Valley appellation, this small planting of Aligoté, less than one acre, is known to be perhaps only the third after Josh Jensen’s Mt. Harlan Vineyard.