Pinot Noir

Our Borderline bottling showcases high quality pinot noir produced by dedicated growers near the Marin - Sonoma County border.  These vineyards lie along the southern edge of the Petaluma wind gap - a break in the coastal hills that funnels afternoon winds and summer fog straight off the Pacific, across the Point Reyes National Seashore, and into the northern reach of San Francisco Bay.  These cooling winds ease the summer heat of Marin's interior hills and allows pinot noir grown there to benefit from a longer growing season.

The Kendric Vineyard is the sole vineyard we used in the 2010 Borderline.  This vineyard, planted and farmed by Stew Johnson, lies in a secluded valley off San Antonio Road.  The vineyard rolls gently downslope below a hilltop thick with California oak and bay laurel, insuring good drainage, and the soil is nicely balanced between loam and clay.  Since we used only this vineyard in 2010, we took clones 115 and 777 to create depth and complexity.

Winemaker Notes

Weather conditions throughout the growing season created a seriously challenging year for Marin County pinot noir growers. Spring rains during flowering, a cooler than normal summer, the August heat shock, and a second heat blast at harvest had many vineyards on their knees by September.   However, under Stew’s care, the Kendric Vineyard produced limited yields of nicely ripened fruit, with a core of refreshing acidity.

Our 2010 Borderline Pinot Noir offers enticing aromas of cherry and violets, with overtones of sandalwood.  On the palate, bright cherry flavors are layered over a structure of nicely resolved tannins.  The finish shows more sweet cherry and rhubarb progressing into a light dustiness that is the signature of Marin County pinot.  The 2010 Borderline pinot is the perfect choice for a Sunday chicken dinner, or served as the first red in a dinner with multiple wine selections.


  1. GOLD MEDAL - SF Chronicle 2013 Wine Competition

  2. GOLD MEDAL - Grand Harvest Awards

  3. Prince of Pinot - Highest Rating “evocative middleweight”
    “Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. A panoply of scents including black cherries, pie berries, clay, oak, and white chocolate that come and go in the glass. Strikingly fresh berry flavor, seemingly wild and exotic, underlain with well-integrated oak and supple tannins. Unusually ripe for cool Marin County. An evocative middleweight, that enters with aplomb, and finishes smooth and polished. I really like this Pinot.”
    - Rusty Gaffney - 10/24/13

    Named 2012 California Pinot Noir Honorable Mention, December 2012

  4. Wine Enthusiast - 89 pts
    “Intense and nervy, this has high acidity that gives it a mouthwatering quality. It’s absolutely dry, with bright cherry-pie and spice flavors. Shows real promise for Marin County Pinot Noir. “
    - Steve Heimoff - 2/13/13



Marin County




Stewart Johnson

Harvest Dates


Clonal Content

115, 777

Alcohol / pH

14.4 % / 3.69

Titratable Acidity

0.56 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

17 months in French Oak

(50% new)

Cases Produced


Sugggested Retail