Walter Hansel Pinot Noir 2020, The South Slope Vineyard, Russian River Valley, California

Walter Hansel Winery and Hansel Family Vineyards in the Russian River Valley has become well known for unique Burgundian-styled Chardonnays and Pinot Noir. Walter Hansel was a lifelong wine lover who first planted vineyards in 1978 just down the road from Kistler and Dehlinger. Stephen Hansel, Walter’s son, planted additional acres in the late 1980s, founded the winery in 1996, and made the first commercial vintage, 1996, which produced just 350 cases of Chardonnay and 70 cases of Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir is destemmed and gravity guides the whole berries into open topped fermenters. “The South Slope begins at the highest elevation and the furthest South of all of our Vineyards blocks. It slopes from South to North about 45 feet and it’s soils are predominantly sandy loam. The berry size is medium with a high berry count giving cluster weight that has yields approaching 2 1/4 tons/acre (our highest yields). It is 100% French clone 777, and tends to show it’s earthy side far more then our other clones. Although this wine definitely has a French origin, each year it becomes more and more new world.” – from the Winery