Sarah and Chris Pittenger must have a really strong connection. They survived a cross country/continent long distance relationship, got married in 2008, the year of the disastrous financial meltdown and started their wine business a year later as many companies were closing up shop. It must have been their overriding passion for wine that kept them afloat! Chris spent years working in wine stores and restaurants in Colorado and Wyoming which allowed him to indulge in his other passions for snowboarding and fly fishing, while Sarah worked in the advertising industry in New York and San Francisco. Their paths crossed at a party near the Gros Ventre River in Jackson Hole and they knew they were destined to be together. Chris moved on from the restaurant scene to gain experience working at wineries in Napa, Australia, Sonoma and New Zealand at such esteemed estates as Robert Biale, Torbreck, Williams Selyem and Marcassin before he landed the winemaking job at Skinner Vineyards in the Sierra Foothills in 2007. Naturally, when it came time to name their wine label, they chose the place where their story began and have been producing very well made wines (in Skinner's 'state of the art' winery in Somerset) for almost a decade. The Pittengers specialize in cool climate Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley as well as other varietal wines from El Dorado County. Chris' winemaking style is non-interventionist where he lets 'the grapes do most of the talking', allows for native yeast fermentations, ages his wine in mostly neutral oak barrels and adds very little sulphur before bottling unfined and unfiltered.
This 2017 Rosé is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir, 22% Valdiguié and 13% Gamay Noir sourced from high altitude (2,500-3,000 feet above sea level) mountain vineyards in El Dorado as well as Clarksburg near the Sacramento Delta where they found the Valdiguié. After a direct press of destemmed grapes, Chris aged the wine for six months in 100% used French oak barrels which resulted in a plush, creamy-textured mid-palate with the right amount of concentration to still keep the wine light and breezy. Aromas and flavors include white flowers, Rainier cherry, blood orange peel, strawberry shortcake and as winemaker, Chris Pittenger notes, “ruby red grapefruit”. This is a delicious, beautifully packaged wine that is very impressive given it's only their second release of rosé!