Marin County



Chileno Valley


Stewart Johnson

Mark Pasternak

Harvest Dates

9/22/11 10/4/11

Clonal Content

667, 777

Alcohol / pH

14.1 % / 3.71

Titratable Acidity

0.64 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

17 months in French Oak

(36% new)

Cases Produced


Sugggested Retail




Pinot Noir

Our Borderline bottling showcases high quality pinot noir produced by two 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.  This reliable cooling eases the summer heat of Marin's interior valleys, providing a longer growing season for the pinot noir grown there.

Kendric Vineyard, planted and farmed by Stew Johnson, lies in a secluded valley off San Antonio Road.  His vineyard rolls gently downslope below a hilltop thick with California oak and bay laurel, insuring good drainage.  We take only 777 clone for the contribution of pretty cherry aromas and structure to the Borderline blend.

Chileno Valley Vineyard is farmed by local icon and long-time Marin County agricultural advocate Mark Pasternak.  Rolling across several hilltops on a converted dairy farm, the Chileno Valley vineyard is cooler than Kendric. Here we source the 667 clone that provides more powerful fruit flavors to fill out the middle of the Borderline Blend.

Winemaker Notes

Spring rains during flowering and a cool summer without significant heat created an extended growing season for Marin County vineyards. Both Kendric and Chileno Valley vineyards were successfully harvested at optimal ripeness before rains hit in October.

Our 2011 Borderline Pinot Noir offers enticing aromas of cherry fruit with the signature minerality of Marin County. On the palate, bright cherry pie 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 2011 Borderline is an ideal choice for a Sunday chicken dinner.


  1. GOLD MEDAL - SF Chronicle 2014 Wine Competition

  2. Prince of Pinot - 87 pts
    “Moderately light reddish color in the glass. Aromas of oak-dusted cherries and black tea flow from the glass and hold up over time. Upfront, crisp and pleasant with flavors of cherry, red licorice and tarry oak”
    - Rusty Gaffney 10/26/13

  3. Wine Enthusiast - 90 pts
    “Light in color and body this is an earthy, herbal Pinot indicative of the almost insurmountable odds of ripening wine grapes along the Marin coast, especially in such a cool year. But ripen they did, offering red cherry fruit integrated with a soft texture, woodsy back note and relatively tamed oak.”
    - Virginie Boone 4/1/14

  4. The Pinot Report - 90 pts - subscription required
    “Medium ruby color; deep, earthy, forest floor aromas; rich cherry flavors with toasty, earthy notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Earthy, complex Pinot with nice toasty notes.”
    - Greg Walters 1/1/14