Ceritas favour minimal intervention in the cellar, and subscribe to particular methods that have proven best for expressing site through varietal. Their winemaking is flexible rather than dogmatic, inspired by traditional winemaking allowing the voice of the land and season to shine, rather than the effects of human cellar techniques.
In the late 1970’s Gard Hellenthal and David Hirsch began looking for vineyards north of Cazadero in the hills facing the Pacific. After securing a land piece of land just to the east of Hirsch Vineyards, Gard planted the original vines at Hellenthal Vineyards. Two plantings went in – Old Shop Block and Elliott. Ceritas are fortunate enough to be the sole winery sourcing fruit from the oldest vines on the property, affectionately known as the Old Shop Block.
This site is captivating for several reasons. The soil is comprised of a mixture of fractured sandstone and highly decomposed sandstone soils, which provide ideal grounds for Pinot Noir. Second, these dry-farmed vines are home to own-rooted Calera clone – the only own-rooted vines that Ceritas farms- which allows a direct translation from the soil to the vine. Most importantly, the wine bears forth-great earth concentration, bright red fruit, and lingering tannins.
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