The name Pelerin means pilgrim in French and reflects Chris' ultimate quest for balanced and complex wines. While working for other wineries, Chris was able to forge relationships with some of the best grape growers in Monterey County and purchase grapes from Rosella Vineyard and Paraiso Vineyards, both in the Santa Lucia Highlands, and more recently, from Mesa del Sol Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco appellation. His first vintage was released in 2002.
Rosella Vineyard is a 50 acres east-southeast facing vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Thanks to the soil made of gravelly loam, and the cool climate (foggy mornings, sunny mid-days, windy afternoons), it is a place where Pinot Noir is thriving. The vineyard is owned by Gary Franscioni, also co-owner of the close by Garys' Vineyard, who named it after his wife Rosella.
Paraiso Vineyards is a 400-acre property located at the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. The land is owned by the Paraiso Vineyards winery, which sells part of its production to other wine producers.
Mesa del Sol Vineyard is a small organically farmed vineyard located in the Arroyo Seco river canyon, south of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. The site is warmer than in the Santa Lucia Highlands and a great place to grow heat-loving varietals such as Syrah, Primitivo and Sangiovese.
Chris is doing well and has plans to grow and move to a new facility at Paraiso Vineyards where he works part-time. He is also very happy with his Rhone-style wines, the quality of the grapes he gets from the Mesa del Sol Vineyard, and plans to make some Roussanne and Viognier in the near future.
2005 Pelerin Rosé (from barrel): fresh and very fruity
2005 Pelerin Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard (from barrel): a lot of structure, complex aromas, very promising
2005 Pelerin Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands (from barrel): tasty but a lighter version of the Rosella's Vineyard
2005 Pelerin Syrah/Viognier blend (from barrel): powerful flavors of mint and pepper.
2005 Pelerin Syrah Monterey County (from barrel): very fruity, nice to drink already
2005 Pelerin Syrah Mesa del Sol Vineyard (from barrel): has tannins, structure, and complexity, my favorite with the Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard.
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