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Marcassin (french for ‘young wild boar’) is a VERY small winery – in fact it’s so small that the wines have actually been made at the Martinelli winery in Russian River Valley. Located on the Sonoma Coast, the Marcassin vineyard is planted to 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is about 10 acres in size. Fruit for the other vineyard designated wines is sourced from other neighboring vineyards. Marcassin will always be a small winery; John & Helen feel the perfect size is 100 barrels, enough for 2,500 cases.
Helen’s winemaking philosophy is simple: great vineyards, meticulously farmed, limited yield, long hang time and natural yeast. She approaches every project with these same priorities.
Abundant rainfall throughout the winter and spring provided favorable moisture to the vines over the growing season. An uneventful, warm spring concluded with unexpected rain during the bloom period in May, resulting in lower berry set and ultimate crop reduction of 20% to 30% at harvest. Cool growing season temperatures were broken with intermittent heat spells in August and September, resulting in several selective harvests, rather than one extended crush. Grape quality was excellent, with intense flavors off the vine, although some varieties experienced sunburn and required selective picking at harvest.