The wait may be over. Aubert de Villaine has gingerly tiptoed around making California Pinot Noir for more than a decade. But he appears ready to give it a try. There are still a few elements of caution, as he explained last week, but he's looking for a vineyard to buy grapes. Once that's done, he should be good-to-go.
I had been looking forward to our visit, since de Villaine is one of the brightest and most measured of vintners I know. He brings a unique perspective to wine and I had hoped we could talk about Pinot Noir, among other topics, and we did. But I had forgotten one important thing: that du Villaine hadn't yet made a California Pinot Noir. The co-director of Domaine de La Romanée-Conti, as well as a partner in Hyde de Villaine, in Carneros. HdV makes Chardonnay, Syrah and a Merlot-Cabernet blend called Belle Cousine.
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