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WINE CLUB Belle Glos: The finest varieties of California Pinot Noir

Belle Glos: The finest varieties of California Pinot NoirBelle Glos showcases distinctive Pinot Noirs produced from California’s most noteworthy coastal wine-growing regions. They offer four single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. Owner/winemaker Joe Wagner chose the name Belle Glos to honor his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner. Lorna was a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards, an inspirational figure to Joseph and an avid lover of Pinot Noir.

As a fifth-generation Napa Valley winemaker, Joe learned his way around a vineyard long before he was able to drink wine. By the time he was 19, he knew that he would continue his family’s winemaking legacy, working alongside his father at Caymus Vineyards. In 2001, he created Belle Glos with a focus on vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from throughout California’s best coastal regions.

Belle Glos consists of four vineyards near the Pacific Ocean, with significant climate differences, that vary with the amount of fog, wind, sunlight and soil type. Each vineyard wine is crafted to distill the purest essence of the locale into elegant expressions of California Pinot Noir.

Once an old dairy farm, the Dairyman vineyard is located in the southern alluvial plains of the Russian River Valley. Dairyman’s closeness to the Pacific Ocean results in a cool morning fog and afternoon coastal breezes that lengthen the growing season. This gives concentrated and flavorful berries, producing cherry characteristics, brown spices and a keen minerality overlaid with a rich, velvety mouth feel.

The Clark & Telephone Vineyard is located near the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road in the Santa Maria Valley. It is cooled by wind and fog that meander  in from the Pacific Ocean along a Santa Maria River channel.

The Clark & Telephone Vineyard, established in 1972, was planted “own root” to the Martini clone. This heirloom replica of Pinot Noir was one of the first to grace the California coastlands, and it has become something of a lost treasure, according to the vineyard website.

The Las Alturas Vineyard is located in one of the highest plantable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County. This pristine location offers the Las Alturas Vineyard cool, coastal days with bountiful sunshine and a foundation of Gloria sandy loam soil. When planting this 15-acre vineyard, they matched various Pinot Noir clones to individual slopes and soil attributes of the land. Crop yields are kept low in order to preserve the fruit’s intensity.

The Taylor Lane vineyard is located less than six miles from the Pacific Ocean. This location often deals with harsh fog and winds, making the grape-growing process difficult. The early-ripening clones at this vineyard have been adapted with a traditional Italian trellis system that carries the vines across a horizontal canopy in order to achieve full maturity. This trellis system acts as a solar panel for full ripening potential and allows great air circulation to surround the fruit.

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