Los Gatos, CA  :  (408) 234-2079

Pinot Noir

At 2600′ elevation on the Loma Prieta ridge top, our estate vineyard is the highest for Pinot Noir in the Santa Cruz Mountains – and for Syrah, too.  12 acres out of the 13 total is devoted to Pinot Noir.  We sell 90% of our Pinot Noir to other wineries that produce a vineyard-designate wine under their own label (see the list below).  We produce a very small amount of the total crop under our own label. We may be a small winery, but our vineyard is a sizable one in the Santa Cruz Mountains and a large source of Pinot Noir to other wineries.

Our Wines:

Pinot Noir under our Muns Vineyard brand label is known for its complexity and structure, with balanced tannins, acidity, fruit and minerality; and a silky, velvety mouthfeel. Most notable is the flavor of black cherry combined with an earthy component evocative of the Muns Vineyard terroir. Our wines age beautifully.

The wine’s complexity and character is due to a combination of terroir, winemaking, and the blend of the four Pinot Noir clones we grow in the vineyard.


The Winemaking:

At harvest, the fruit is destemmed but not crushed, and gravity fed through the entire process. Fermentation:  whole berry; fermented in chilled stainless steel open top fermenters; ‘punchdown/drainover’ three times daily. The Pinot Noir is aged 17 months in 33% new Hungarian oak; stirred on the lees for maximum color and flavor.  Bottling is unfined and unfiltered.

The Eastern European oak barrels impart soft, not overpowering, tannins and support the delicate nuances of flavor in Pinot Noir. It is also an important factor in creating the smooth, velvety mouthfeel characteristic of our wines – a lovely sensory experience.

Our winemaker is Tony Craig.


The Clones

Our vineyard is planted primarily to four Dijon clones (114, 115, 557 and 777) on a variety of rootstocks, giving the winemaker the ability to blend a complex wine.  Some of the winemakers who make wine from our Pinot Noir want only one or two clones; some want all four. Each of the clones contributes a unique characteristic to the wine (see the list below). Each 1-acre block is planted to a single clone/rootstock combination.  Rows are spaced at 10′; vine spacing at 3.5′.  This is about 1,244 vines per acre, or about 15,000 Pinot Noir vines in total on the 12 acres. Add another 1,244 Syrah vines on one acre and there are a little over 16,000 vines in total in the vineyard.

There are many French (or Dijon) clones. The four we have planted are as follows:

  • 114 – contributes dark color and big structure
  • 115 – contributes aromatics (light in color and structure)
  • 667 – balanced in aroma, structure, color
  • 777 – contributes rich fruit flavors, good color and structure


The clones are grafted onto root stocks and produce the vegetation and fruit of each plant.  All of the clones used have originated in France and have been quarantined at UC Davis before being certified here in the US.  The vines we planted starting in 2001 have been certified by the French authority ENTAV. (ENTAV started certifying in 2001.) See more about French Clones here.

All root stocks derive from native American grapevines which are resistant to phyloxera, a destructive root insect. Different root stocks have different characteristics and different varieties suit different types of soils, and may generate more or less vigor in the vine.


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