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Handley Cellars Pinot Gris 2021

Handley Cellars Pinot Gris 2021

Anderson Valley, Californina

Regular price $27.99 USD
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  • Tasting Notes

    The fruit for this wine is sourced from Helluva (76%) and Romani (24%) Vineyards. Located at opposite ends of Anderson Valley, we usually pick these vineyards a month apart. Helluva Vineyard provides tropical and herbal notes while Romani Vineyard provides riper stone fruit characters. Aromas of passion fruit, grapefruit, lemon blossoms, tarragon, and candle wax. Mouthwatering flavors of guava and pineapple interplay with fleshy nectarine and Asian pear, finishing crisply with hints of lime zest and lemongrass. Fermented in a combination of one third stainless steel tanks, one third 500 L puncheons, and one third in a 3200 L oval. Stirred on the lees to create a full and creamy mouthfeel. Sterile filtered and bottled early to avoid malolactic fermentation and to preserve the fresh fruit characters. No animal derived products were used to make this wine.

    Cases produced 800.

  • Story

    Handley Cellars is a small, family-owned winery located in California's Mendocino County. Bonded in 1982, they produce around 9000 cases of wine annually. The quality of their wines begins with their CCOF Certified Organic Estate Vineyards in Anderson Valley. Situated at the northwest end of the Anderson Valley on 59 acres of the original Guntly Ranch, the property still features the now-refurbished ranch house, along with the barn and water tower, all constructed in the early 20th century.

    The winery was founded by Milla Handley, who aimed to create balanced wines that showcase distinctive varietal characteristics and reflect the soil and climate of their origin. Continuing this legacy, their current winemaker, Randy Schock, crafts elegant, fruit-driven wines that pair well with a wide range of cuisines. Milla's daughter, Lulu, now oversees Handley Cellars, supported by her husband, Scott Handley, and their baby son, Golden.

    Handley Cellars' charming tasting room is situated six miles northwest of Philo, California, on Highway 128. They offer tastings and tours by appointment in their garden courtyard. Visitors are invited to sample their selections and admire a unique display of folk art collected by Lulu's grandfather, Ray Handley, from various corners of the globe.

  • Somm Notes

    Milla Handley's journey into winemaking began with pioneering steps. Graduating in 1975 as one of the first female graduates in fermentation science from the University of California at Davis, she embarked on a career that would leave an indelible mark on the wine industry. Working under acclaimed winemakers such as Richard Arrowood at Chateau St. Jean and Jed Steel at Edmeades, Milla honed her skills and knowledge, laying the groundwork for her future endeavors. In 1982, fueled by her desire to capture the essence of the extraordinary Anderson Valley, Milla established Handley Cellars, becoming the first woman winemaker in the United States to establish a namesake winery.

    Milla's pioneering spirit extended beyond her winemaking prowess. As a visionary for the remote and rural Anderson Valley, she played a pivotal role in putting the region on the map. A trailblazer for women interested in wine, she shattered glass ceilings and inspired generations. Her commitment to responsible and organic farming led her to obtain organic certification for the Handley Estate Vineyard in 2005, underscoring her dedication to sustainable practices. Throughout her career, Milla emerged as a champion of Anderson Valley as a winemaking region, crafting elegant expressions of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, sparkling wines, and more. Her impact extended beyond the vineyard, as she became a pillar in the community, known for her community-minded approach and unwavering support. With her retirement in 2017, Milla's legacy continues to shape the landscape of Anderson Valley and the broader wine industry.

    90 pts - Wine Enthusiast
    It's always a pleasure to sip this lively white from Handley. The fermentation process includes mixed vessels of steel, puncheon and concrete; the result is a Pinot Gris that's a far cry from the simplicity the variety is oft-defined by. Enjoy notes of lemon, lime, dewy grass and lawn daisy, pink grapefruit and a minerally wet-stone earthiness all woven into a smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel. — Stacy Briscoe

  • Region

    Located in the rolling hills of the coastal region of Mendocino County, Anderson Valley is a picturesque winegrowing area situated approximately three hours northwest of San Francisco. Stretching about 15 miles from the town of Boonville in the southeast through Philo to the town of Navarro in the northwest, the valley is characterized by its unique climate influenced by morning and evening fog and cool breezes that follow the Navarro River from the coast through the "deep end" of the valley before dissipating inland. This cool climate provides an ideal environment for the cultivation of chardonnay, pinot noir, and Alsatian varieties, which flourish in the region's diverse microclimates.

    With almost 100 vineyards planted on 1457 acres, Anderson Valley boasts a diverse viticultural landscape, with 69% of the vineyard acreage dedicated to pinot noir and 21% to chardonnay. Additionally, the valley is known for its Alsatian-style grapes such as gewürztraminer, pinot gris, and riesling. The inland and central regions of Anderson Valley, near Philo and Boonville, offer progressively warmer microclimates, allowing for a variety of grape-growing conditions within the valley. Despite its acclaimed status, Anderson Valley remains approachable, intimate, and uncrowded, with many of its vineyards being primarily owner-operated. Renowned for its cool climate, the valley's grapes are highly sought after and are used in the production of award-winning sparkling and late harvest wines, cementing Anderson Valley's reputation as one of California's premier winegrowing regions.