We start at 2,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, literally at the edge of a cliff at Manchester Ridge, an island in the sky. Here we are above the fog line while receiving maritime influences, including not occasionally, gnarly weather—pelting rain and buffeting winds. This Mendocino vineyard is at the mercy of the elements. The results are struggling vines with fruit that doesn’t ripen until late fall. But the result is unparalleled complexity that can only be defined as a luscious enigma.
The 360-degree panorama overlooking Mt. Diablo, 55 miles to the southeast and the Geysers 35 miles to the north gives the illusion that the Mes Filles Vineyard, at 600 feet atop the Sebastopol Hills is much higher. Still, with its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the vineyard snags incoming evening coastal breezes and fog, a perfect recipe for cool-climate pinot. The results are full-fledged dark fruit aromas with cola springing along the palate.