WILLIAMS SELYEM 'VISTA VERDE VINEYARD' LATE HARVEST GEWURZTRAMINER - 2017
How does a hobby become a passion and a passion become a legend?
Like most good stories, the history of Williams Selyem owes much to serendipity.
If a grower with an abundance of fruit hadn’t given Burt Williams a few tons of
free grapes in the 1970s, Burt might never have discovered his love and flair for
winemaking. And if Burt and his partner Ed Selyem had been able to afford the
French Burgundies they both favored, they might never have tried making their
own Pinot Noir.The two friends didn’t set out to produce wines for anyone but
themselves. And they surely never imagined that their humble experiment in
home winemaking would spawn a cult-status winery of international acclaim.
Together, Burt and Ed set a new standard for American-made Pinot Noir, and
elevated Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley to among the best wine growing
regions in the world.
The rolling hills of a former cattle ranch outside the town of Hollister in San Benito
County are now planted to Pinot Noir. The Dyson’s believe this is “a very special
area for Pinot Noir and aromatic white wine.”
John states that the key attributes are climate and soil: a long, cool growing
season and rock, gravel and pebbles, laced with calcium carbonate lenses and
a lot of lime, promoting good drainage. This vineyard continues to deliver
exceptional quality Pinot Noir worthy of the Williams Selyem vineyard designation.
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Clones: Bruce, Pommard, Calera and Dijon clones
Number of acres: 12 acres
Topography: Rolling hills
Elevation: 700 – 1000 feet
Soil type: Well drained gravelly loams, with severe limestone fractures
Trellising: Smart Dyson and bilateral cordon
Cover crop: Native grasses, including oats and rye
Directly east of better-known Monterey County, on the other side of the
Gavilan Mountains, San Benito County boasts four recognized AVAs
(Cienega Valley, Paicines, Lime Kiln Valley and Mt. Harlan). This complex
maze of mountains, canyons and valleys, some running east-west rather
than north-south, channels substantial marine influence into San Benito
from the Pacific Ocean, only 20-30 miles away. The most attentive care
is given to this vineyard to produce stellar Pinot Noir. The restrictive
rootstock used ensures the maximum ripeness and flavor development.