- Mendocino, California, United States
“Their wines have become some of Anderson Valley’s most restrained and potentially long-lived specimens, reminiscent of old Littorai and Williams Selyem from the 1990’s… In an era when Anderson Valley has chased the stylistic lure of Big Flavor, Drew is a beautiful reminder of its roots.” –Jon Bonné, New California
After years of working alongside veteran winemakers at Corison, Joseph Phelps, Babcock, and others, Jason Drew decided to establish his own winery. Looking to produce wines of greater restraint than he was finding in Napa and Santa Barbara he began searching farther afield and in 2004 found a 24-acre property on the Mendocino Ridge AVA that had everything he was looking for: southern exposure, oceanic soil, and cool coastal influence.
Mendocino Ridge AVA (established in 1997) is a unique appellation in California in that it is designated by elevation (1200 ft and above). It consists of a series of ridges along the Pacific coast in Mendocino and has been called the northern extension of the Sonoma Coast.
Jason planted 7 acres of Pinot Noir on the property and, while waiting for his estate vineyard to reach maturity, began sourcing from the best vineyards in the area. Following the belief that great wines begin at the source, it was essential to find growers who farmed sustainably, organically, or biodynamically.
All fermentations use only native yeasts, after which the must is punched down 1-3 times per day until it gets racked off into French Oak barrels. The wines remain in barrel (5-30% new, depending on the cuvée) for 11-18 months with occasional lees stirring until they are bottled, unfined and unfiltered. Depending on the wine and the vintage, Jason typically uses a percentage of whole cluster fruit.
Drew’s wines are a prime example of the potential of California terroir. Each of his wines is unmistakably different from the others, expressive of both time and place in a way that few new world producers have achieved. While Jason maintains that he is only a steward, merely guiding the wine into existence, we have to disagree. With so many outstanding wines coming from this cellar he has to be doing something. Whatever it is, we’re excited to have this collection of wines to offer.