Monterey County




Michael Michaud

Harvest Dates


Clonal Content

115, 667, 777, Swan Selection

Alcohol / pH

14.9 % / 3.66

Titratable Acidity

0.64 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

17 months in French Oak

(40% new)

Cases Produced


Suggested Retail Price



Michaud Vineyard

Pinot Noir

The Michaud vineyard is an extraordinary location for cultivating Pinot Noir.  Lying at 1600’ above the Salinas Valley floor and at the front door of Pinnacles National Monument, the vineyard is certainly unusual by typical Pinot Noir standards.  However, this vineyard lies in one of the only places where decomposed granite and limestone are present at the surface, creating a superb soil profile for pinot noir, similar to that of Burgundy.  The vineyard is tended by Michael Michaud, whose experience and commitment to the Chalone AVA is unrivaled.

The limited rainfall and challenging conditions stunt the vines, causing the grapes to be thicker skinned than their valley floor cousins. The thicker skins provide tannins and ultimately more structure in the finished wine.  While mid-day temperatures can reach above 100F for days at a time, nighttime brings 50, and even 60 degree drops in temperature, ensuring that acid levels stay high through to harvest. These conditions and Michael's experienced oversight ensure that crop yield will be low, but in exchange for quantity, the quality of Michaud fruit is among the best.

Winemaker Notes

2010 was another typical growing season for the Chalone AVA, with rain finishing early in the season, followed by long stretches of high amplitude daytime heat and chilly nights.  The clones 115, 667, 777, and Swan selection were perfect, with small tight clusters and uniform berry sizes. 

Our 2010 Michaud Vineyard opens with delicate raspberry and pomegranate aromas, with a hint of fennel.  The bright fruit flavors are complemented by Michaud's signature tannins, spice, and a lingering nuanced finish.  As a consequence of the tannins and structure in this wine, it will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring.  This 2010 Michaud pairs superbly with cedar plank grilled salmon and a long evening, as it evolves in the glass and demonstrates the unique charm of the Chalone AVA.


  1. SILVER MEDAL - SF Chronicle 2013 Wine Competition

  2. Prince of Pinot - Very good “highly terroir driven”
    “Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of fresh blueberry-pomegranate juice and assorted dark fruits. Somewhat earthy, burly and rustic, displaying a hearty core of delicious purple and black fruits backed by ripe, firm tannins. A very elegant presentation that is unusual for this vineyard in my experience. Highly terroir-driven. Very good.”
    - Rusty Gaffney 10/26/12

  3. Wine Enthusiast - 91 pts,  “Cellar Selection”  status  
    “Light and silky, this packs a real punch in complexity, with layers of raspberry, cherry, cola and sweet oak. There’s a mushroom-driven earthiness you might call Burgundian. The tightness suggests aging, possibly over the long haul.”
    - Steve Heimoff 2/1/13

  4. Pinot Report - 93 pts - subscription required
    “Medium ruby color; bit tight with some cherry and herbal aromas; deep, cherry and plum flavors with concentrated herbal and earthy notes; some tannin and oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep, interesting Pinot that needs some time in the glass and the cellar.” 
    - Greg Walters - 2/15/13