Rhys Vineyards was founded in 2004 by Kevin Harvey, a passionate wine collector who frequented the vineyards of Burgundy and became close friends with a number of families behind the top domaines of the Cotes d’Or. When he started dabbling with the idea of planting his own Pinot Noir vines, Harvey was privileged to have access to these friends’ properties – researching the terroir, soil depth, structure, chemistry, hydrology, climate, among other attributes. Harvey then utilized this information to seek out what he thought were the best sites in California, looking for analogies in the vital characteristics that he believed drove the quality of the wine. His research led him to his own backyard – the rugged, rocky terroir of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
In the late ‘90s, Harvey convinced his wife to let him plant a quarter-acre of Pinot Noir vines behind their house (now referred to as the ‘Home Vineyard’), which produced enough grapes for one barrel of wine. Harvey’s rigorous and unparalleled site selection, along with Jason Jardine’s vineyard experience and a huge investment in organic and sustainable farming practices, consistency yields gorgeous fruit that is true to its terroir. Today, Rhys is a benchmark producer of great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah with seven estate vineyards; six in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one in Anderson Valley, each capable of producing uniquely compelling, distinctive, soil-driven wine.
The Alesia line of wines are all estate fruit and offer a more affordable entry into the wines of Rhys. The 2016 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains) is a terrific appellation-level wine. Lifted and gracious, with terrific energy and cut, the 2016 is super-expressive today. Bright red cherry, orange peel, mint and chalky notes give the 2016 is attractive aromatic top notes to play off the wine's energetic personality. The 2016 includes all the fruit from Rhys's new Mt. Pajaro vineyard.