The Coolest Hundred Acres in Wine Country
We get plenty of leads on wineries to check out, but some places break through the clutter — the buzz about Scribe Winery in Sonoma Valley is unparalleled. Scribe has graced glossy magazine spreads in Travel + Leisure (“game-changing”), Food & Wine, GQ (“The Coolest Hundred Acres in Wine Country”) and made countless appearances on wine lists at the Bay Area’s best restaurants from Chez Panisse to The Restaurant at Meadowood. At last, we decided, it was time for Wine Access to secure one of their coveted cult Pinots. The 2016 Scribe Pinot Noir from Carneros is a gorgeous and ethereal wine, infused with a juicy mix of cherry, plum, cranberry, and spice. Read on about our visit, but don’t miss out on our last 240 bottles.
Founded by two brothers and fourth-generation farmers, Adam and Andrew Mariani, Scribe sits at the end of a mile-long road in Sonoma, lined with palm trees and scrub. When we arrived early on a balmy Saturday afternoon, we found multimillionaire tech entrepreneurs sitting alongside lifestyle bloggers in summer dresses and sunhats while dogs barked and tussled on the grass. Beyond lay a stunning view of finely manicured vineyards and Moon Mountain on the horizon.
The brothers Mariani knew the land had potential. Decades ago, the property was a vineyard run by a German immigrant, who’s believed to have been the first to bring over a number of German varietals. Scribe has received a lot of attention for their Chardonnays, but when Andrew came over to our table with a few bottles for tasting, it was a different wine that caught our attention.
“This Pinot Noir is from a vineyard about a mile down the road,” he said, adjusting the brim of his straw hat after he’d splashed some of the pale-ruby 2016 into our glass. “We started planting it in 2007, and we’ve fallen in love with the fruit it’s producing. Clones are 50/50 Martini and Pommard. The soil is rich Huichica loam soil. The climate is slightly cooler, Carneros-like, which means ripening is often elongated. In the 2016 growing season, which was paced perfectly, it made for some of the richest, most beautiful Pinots we’ve produced yet.”
If you’re within driving distance, don’t miss a trip to this winery. If you’re not, a glass of this Pinot is the next closest thing, blending earthy honesty with high-toned, red-fruit sophistication. An irresistible dose of the Sonoma good life.
— Wine Access Wine Team