North (by Alban Vineyards)

NorthWhile North is not an Alban Vineyards’ wine, it is not really possible to tell the story of this label without acknowledging its roots.  Many of you know that Alban Vineyards is the first American winery and vineyard to have been established exclusively for Rhone varieties.  On the surface, the fact that once upon a time almost a fourth of the vineyards planted at Alban were either Pinot Noir or Chardonnay seems rather contradictory.  For the first 15 years of Alban Vineyards, John couldn’t afford to keep more than 20% of the fruit he raised.  Chardonnay was an easy sell and suited to a broad spectrum of soils. As Alban Vineyards progressed and the contracts for the Chardonnay and Pinot lapsed, we were in a position to keep the blocks.  They were methodically grafted and became the foundation for Patrina.  But one vineyard has always been particularly special to me.  Perched on a steep north facing hillside and planted into loam frosted sandstone we have an isolated and unique block comprised of four acres of Pinot Noir and one of Chardonnay; all planted the year we married- 1997.   The agreement to sell this fruit ended with the 2010 harvest and naturally prompted the question, “what now?” Those of you who know my husband will not be surprised to hear that when I said, “I want it.”  He replied, “It’s yours.” The Vineyard yielded 360 bottles of Chardonnay and 540 bottles of Pinot Noir in this shy baring inaugural vintage.             Lorraine Alban

Chardonnay | Pinot Noir

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