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Kistler Vineyards is a small, family established and privately owned and operated winery dedicated to the vinification of world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using old world Burgundian techniques applied to our new world vineyards. We have consistently bottled some of the finest new world examples of these two varietals for over 30 years. We produce single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, that are available exclusively to our mailing list members.


Kistler Vineyards was founded in 1978 by the Kistler family. The first vintage in 1979 produced 3,500 cases of wine and since then the winery has slowly grown to the planned production level of about 25,000 cases per year. Steve Kistler received a B.A. from Stanford University, studied at U.C. Davis and Fresno State University for two years, and was an assistant at Ridge Vineyards for two years before founding Kistler Vineyards. He serves as winemaker and oversees vineyard operations.


Mark Bixler received degrees from M.I.T. and U.C. Berkeley, taught Chemistry at Fresno State University for seven years, and worked at Fetzer Vineyards for two years prior to joining Kistler Vineyards. Mark oversees the lab work and is the business manager for Kistler Vineyards. Jason Kesner joined Kistler Vineyards in the summer of 2008. Jason managed Hudson vineyards from 2000-2008, the source of one of our finest wines. Jason serves as the assistant winemaker, and helps to oversee the vineyard operations.


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The vineyard sources for our wines stretch from western Sonoma county, some five miles from the Pacific to Carneros, just north of San Francisco Bay. The majority of our vineyards are owned and farmed by Kistler Vineyards. We also have long standing relationships with some of the finest growers in Sonoma and Napa County.


Our vineyards are meticulously farmed, in order to produce wines of intense focus, and natural balance. Our yields average two and a half tons per acre. In deference to site, each of our ten Chardonnay bottlings are grown from the same heritage clone of Chardonnay that we have been raising for thirty years. Each of those bottlings is vinified in the same fashion, the only difference in the wines being the site on which they are grown. Both our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are crafted utilizing classic Burgundian techniques.

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Our wines are produced solely by native yeasts. Our barrels are crafted from French oak that is aged to our specifications and specifically tailored to our program. All of our wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined. Kistler Chardonnay is barrel fermented in our subterranean, gravel floor barrel rooms, and is aged sur lie in those same barrels, remaining for eleven to eighteen months until bottling. Kistler Pinot Noir is fermented in small open top fermenters and the free run juice is barrel aged and remains in barrel for fourteen to eighteen months until bottling.

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19 different wines with 91 vintages


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Wine Moments

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 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  2 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Krug Grande Cuvée 169th edition / Pale lemon yellow. Apples, brioche, fruit driven, intense, citrus, candied lemons, layered nose. Fresh acidity, apples, minerals, fruit driven, detailed and intense, layered and long. Long. 95 

3m 17d ago

 Kistler  has updated producer and wine information

7m 15d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  2 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  35 wines 

2015 Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon / Ruby. Blackberries, anise, some spices, liquorice, vanilla, detailed and layered, stunning nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, anise, some spices, detailed, layered and intense, rich, dense yet bright. Minty and long. 96

7m 20d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  3 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  33 wines 

2013 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling GG
Pale lemon yellow. Tight, apples, citrus, minerals, ever so slightly scented nose. Fresh acidity, mouthwatering, fresh and lively, detailed, crisp, lovely playfulness, slight apple bitterness in finish, long. 92

1y 7m ago

 Christy Canterbury MW, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  2 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Dutton-Goldfield 2013 Pinot Noir Freestone Hill Russian River Valley / 13.5%; $58 / 96 points
The 2013 Freestone Hill suffered from impressively low yields due to poor flower set. However, here the vine’s plight is our delight. This bottling is lovely, especially if your tastes lean toward Burgundian styles. This wine’s raging, delightfully mouthwatering acidity takes center stage while the lightly drying tannins timidly step out of the wings mid-palate. Despite the rapier-like structure, there is incredible juiciness that entices from the tip of the tongue through the very long finish. Goldfield always finds tarragon nuances here coming from this chilly site’s variable ripeness. The wine’s over-riding, multi-dimensional flavors include masses of ripe blueberries and black cherries along with strains of cigar box and charred meat.

3y 6m ago

 Mario Sculatti / Sleeping Lady Vineyard, Wine Maker (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Some fine and rare California wines from 1980's.

3y 9m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  31 wines 

2009 Shea Willamette Valley Shea Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir:
Ruby. Red berries, fruity, rich, intense, oaky notes, not easy to see the grape influence here. Freshish acidity, ripe tannins, rich and ripe and then very oaky, edgy oaky on the palate, good length. 89points

4y 3m ago

 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  9 wines 

Bond Quella 2006 "What a wine. Laser like precision, an unreal elegance and lightness for Californian Cabernet. I enjoyed this wine tremendously. Will be remembered for a long time."

5y 25d ago

 Michel Jamais, Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  9 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  9 wines 

“Kistler Vineyards belongs to the better producers of chardonnays in California, and since their first vintage 1979, they have both put more focus and refined their ways of farming and making great wines, as well as gained some kind of a cult status for their wines. In the 80s and early 90s, the wines tasted richer with more forward oak flavor, now vintner and winemaking team Mark Bixler and Steve Kistler have found a much finer alance and therefore greater complexity in their wines.
They own around 24 hectares of vines in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley, and besides that they either farm and buy or only buy grapes from several top notch vineyards in Carneros, Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. The grapes are whole bunch pressed, and the juice is then fermented with its natural yeast in small French oak barrels, of which 40 percent at the most are new, with the balance of one and two year old barrels. In the past, much more new oak was used.
Thanks to the same vinification across the range of wines, each vineyard selection will display the terroir of each appellation and vineyard. That makes Kistler Vineyard quite unique, only a few other producers in northern California works with such a wide range of Chardonnay vineyards as they do (Patz & Hall will be another very good example).
The total production is around 15 000 cases annually.”

6y 1m ago

 Michel Jamais, Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“Darioush Winery is one of the most spectacular wineries in Napa Valley. You just can’t miss it when driving on Silverado Trail in the southern part of the valley. Its pillars, copied from the famous Persian palace Persepolis from 500 BC, are dazzling white in the sunshine, and reveals either insanity, or heritage. In this case, you have to settle for heritage, bcause that what is is. Founder Darioush Khaledi was born in the town of Shiraz in what way back in time was known to be Persia, but had to leave his homeland in 1976. Los Angeles became his new home, and together his nephew he started a market to make a living. Two decades later this market had turned into a huge business (KW Mart) with 20 supermarkets and more than 1 500 employees!
His passion for fine wines nourished as his fortune grew, and instead of looking for a château in Bordeaux (which was his initial plan), he found a vineyard in Napa Valley that he bought in 1997. There was no winery at that time – the ground for it was broken the year after, and believe it or not, all stones were brought back from his homeland, Iran. That’s dedication and pride. Like it or not. I do like it.
Steve Devitt was appointed as winemaker, and that was a smart move. If someone knew about the terroir in this corner of Napa Valley, it was Steve. He worked in Napa Valley since mid 80s, and was at the winemaker at neighbor winery Signorello until he came over to Darioush. Production today has reached more than 10 000 cases, of which the cabernet wine is the by far most important.”

6y 2m ago

 Fred Gold, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“Excellent tasting @ Peter Adesman's home. Mostly Pinot Noir from Oregon (with a few "ringers" from California & Burgundy)...followed by some wonderful German Riesling Auslese wines at the end.”

6y 3m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW/BWW2022-Best Germany Wine Critic of the World, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Kistler . In a tasting of  9 wines 

“A perfect setting was arranged by Maximilian J. Riedel at Schloss Leopoldskron close to Salzburg. The famous glass manufacturer opened his private cellar to accompany a perfect dinner. The tasting was completely blind, even the theme of each flight had to be found out. Options were terroir, producer, grape variety or soil. All the wines were served in Riedel glasses and the glass models proved quite helpful to find out the theme of each flight. A great evening with some surprises in the glass.

6y 6m ago

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