Terroir has been a key in the California wine awakening, and there is one man above all others who has strived to reveal the essence of his extraordinary sites. A devoted student of fine wine, Kevin Harvey conducted rigorous research into the attributes of the Côte d’Or’s soils and environment, examining every aspect to determine how they created such amazing wines. With this thorough understanding of the key factors of these terroirs, he began his search for analogous sites in California.
In the late 90s, Kevin found the first location close to home in the Santa Cruz Mountains and planted 35 Pinot Noir vines behind his house as an experiment, vinifying the grapes in his garage. The results were surprisingly good, prompting him to scour the area for other sites, founding Rhys Vineyards in 2004.
He went on to discover a number of extraordinary sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and another in the northern end of Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. The soils in each are much the same: organically poor, shallow and rocky, similar to those found in Burgundy.
The rigorous site selection, along with vineyard manager Jason Jardine’s experience, and a huge investment in organic sustainable farming practices, consistency leads to exceptional fruit that is true to its terroir. Today, Rhys Vineyards is a benchmark producer of fantastic Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah with seven estate vineyards, each capable of producing unique and distinctive wine.