Cline Cellars is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Sonoma’s Carneros Valley. Established in 1982 by Fred Cline, a descendant of Italian US settlers, he originally founded the winery in Oakley, Contra Costa County, cultivating Rhône varieties and Zinfandel on vines dating back to 1906. In the 1990s, the family moved their winemaking operation to a 350 acre ranch in Carneros Valley, adopting sustainable farming in 2000, and building the largest solar panelled winery in California.
Cline is proud to be a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery. The program acknowledges a long-term commitment to continual improvement in the field of sustainable winegrowing and business practices. Fred Cline and Bob Cannard founded Green String Farm and the Green String method of sustainable farming in 2003. Green String Farm is a 57 hectare natural process, sustainable farm near Petaluma, California. The Green String method meets the highest standard of environmental sustainability practices, which is different from certified organic. The methods reduce soil erosion, pesticide dependency, and loss of biodiversity; and increase resistance to natural predators. Instead of herbicides, Cline has 1,500 sheep and 500 goats that roam its vineyards, tasked with removing invasive weeds and instead of harmful pesticides.
Viognier is a tricky grape to grow in that it buds out early and is susceptible to frost. Also, it’s thick skins require patience to get the full flavour potential of the grape. The vines basked in the sun during the day and were cooled at night which contributes to this Viognier’s full-body weight and nice acidity. The grapes were handpicked and de-stemmed without being crushed then immediately pumped to the tank press where the juice was gently squeezed from the grapes.
The Cline North Coast Viogner is wonderfully fragrant with notes of pithy stone fruits, bight jasmine and honeysuckle. The palate follows through with a richness of fruit including ripe peach and apricot. The finish is given finesse by the refreshing acidity.