Landmark Vineyards Small Batch Bounty Flavor-Filled Wines
Landmark Vineyards Exceeds Expectations
Landmark Vineyards’ Sonoma Valley headquarters
A lush and pristine quality envelops Landmark Vineyards’ Sonoma Valley headquarters, nestled in the beautiful Mayacamas Mountains foothill region. Once there, it’s easy to amble between the vines or sit by the gurgling fountain in the courtyard before stepping inside to indulge one’s wine proclivities in the tasting room.
Initially renowned for their light Chardonnay, Landmark has also developed a smashing reputation for their bold Pinot Noir. The secret to their success includes a time-honored process that relies on richly grown and harvested fruit as the primary flavor ingredient. Combined with impeccable viticultural practices and winemaking techniques, their 90-plus ratings consistently demonstrate palate-pleasing vintages, making them one of the premier small batch wineries in the country.
Landmark was founded in 1974 by an adventurous group of individuals—a group that included Damaris Deere Ford. No stranger to the soil, Damaris was the great-great-granddaughter of John Deere, the inventor of the first steel plow. Growing up in not just an agricultural family but also one with business savvy, Damaris became the sole owner by 1989. Interim owners further developed the business, expanding both capability and notoriety for full-bodied wines. By 2011, however, Stewart and Lynda Resnick of The Wonderful Company had acquired Landmark, quickly taking it to a whole new level. One way the duo has put Landmark “on the map” is by showcasing their flagship wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with casual yet swanky events and Wine Society accessibility.
What’s in a Chardonnay
Chardonnay is Landmark’s first love with the 2014 Overlook providing a gentle seduction for all white wine lovers who imbibe. A deep appreciation for the Overlook offers a delicious tease before sliding down one’s throat. Delicate but far from shy, the 2014 whole cluster press batches are allowed to settle for a day. Then, the 100% Chardonnay varietal spontaneously ferments in French oak barrels, aging for 10 months after. With a keen eye, vintner Greg Stach ensures the hand-harvested and hand-sorted fruit is premium batched, “representing the best of the vintage.” Released in 2016, this Chardonnay’s tasting notes render Meyer lemon tart, marzipan, almonds, pear, honeysuckle with a delicate vanilla hint on the nose. And the palate? Apricot, clover honey and toast tantalize the tongue in perfect pitch with a “zippy acidity and bright minerality.” Exceedingly popular, the winery ships chardonnay to all 50 states in the U.S, at both the wholesale and Club levels.
Pinot Noir with Panache
For the red wine lover, Landmark’s 2014 Overlook Pinot Noir does not disappoint. Relentlessly perfecting his craft, Stach flexed his muscle to create a spirited and robust Pinot. It’s stand-up-and-take-notice-flavor showcases the elegant fragrance of molasses, cherry, spearmint, black tea, cranberry and plum on the nose. It is then followed with a slowly savored sluicing of gingerbread spice, red raspberry and grilled mushroom, before a lingering finish of mocha, black tea and the “earthy forest floor.” Also aged for 10 months, the mixture has undergone daily “hand punch downs” to perfect this single vineyard lot final blend. The fruit has been hand harvested, sorted and fermented using 100% native yeasts, with the appellation chosen from the finest grapes in Sonoma, Monterey and San Benito counties. The 2014 Overlook Pinot is shipped to major metropolitan areas in the U.S. as well as to Club members. Between a total of seven Pinots, with 2014 Overlook at the forefront, and nationwide distribution of the Overlook Chardonnay, Landmark ships 64,000 cases of wine annually, an impressive number indeed for a small press outfit.
From hosting local events to events held in select cities nationwide, Landmark’s presence is easily accessible throughout the year at many locations. Hospitality Manager Donna Carroll oversees staff and functions, showcasing a casual yet elegant display of food and wine. “Weddings are my favorite,” she quips. Featured events in October include the auspicious Harvest Festival in Kenwood, California. Combined with the best the Sonoma Valley has to offer, restaurateurs will put on an astonishing locally sourced spread of delicacies and cheeses on October 7th, expertly complementing each wine offering.
Besides weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, private specialty events and festivities can be arranged in the vineyard’s tranquil courtyard or in additional facilities on property. Several Estate Tour and Tasting packages (including one in a horse-drawn carriage) are also available to learn of Landmark’s viticultural practices, with delightful tastings along the way.
Wine aficionados can enjoy Overlook vintages in the comfort of their own homes throughout the year by becoming club members. Shipments of either Chardonnay, Pinot Noirs, or both, are available at several levels. Shipped in the spring and fall, members choose from 6 or 12 bottles each season, with additional upgrades at 3, 6, and 12 bottle increments. Invitations to exclusive events are also part of the Club package, with priority access to these incomparably handcrafted small production wines. With exquisitely crafted wine and easily accessed activities and benefits, is it any wonder Landmark Vineyards have become a must-stop destination in California’s wine country?
From seemingly modest beginnings, Landmark Vineyards has become a force to be reckoned with in the small batch world of wine production. Exquisite flavors, responsible growing and processing techniques and a simple elegance that pervades the business, Landmark truly exceeds all expectations.
For additional information about Landmark Vineyards, please visit www.landmarkwine.com