Walala comes from the Kashaya Pomo Indian saying, “where the water flows down,” a reference to the local Gualala River and nearby town of Gualala, which resides at the mouth of the river. Perched atop a ridge along the Sonoma Coast, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Walala Vineyard resides in what is often referred to as the “True” Sonoma Coast AVA. This heavily maritime-influenced vineyard is on the extreme edge of Pinot Noir viticulture.
A 17-acre vineyard, Walala lies in the middle of 19,000 acres of pristine forestland, where at 1,200 feet, a world-class Pinot Noir is produced. Goldridge fine, sandy loam and gravelly Hugo loam soils comprise this well-drained vineyard Estate.
2016 was a relatively smooth year that unfolded at a steady pace and with mild temperatures. While we didn’t have many exceptionally hot days, it was one of the earlier harvests on our record. Flowering and fruit set beautifully and yields were above normal, which was a nice change from previous years. We harvested our first grapes in mid-August, and had picked about 25% of our Pinot Noir and then a sudden cool spell arrived. This allowed cooler climate vineyards that had yet to be harvested to remain on the vine longer and develop deep and expressive flavors. The berries were smaller and heartier than normal which resulted in great depth of color and structure. We are extremely excited by the 2016s - they are something special! Pretty, expressive, and pleasurable.