Featured Bottle: 2016 LaRue Rice-Spivak Pinot Noir

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What: 2016 LaRue Rice-Spivak Pinot Noir

Where: Sonoma Coast, California

Who: Raised on a walnut farm in the Central Valley, Katy Wilson knew she wanted to be a winemaker by age 18. After graduating Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she worked with Flowers and then Kamen before launching her own label, LaRue. She is now winemaker at Anaba Wines (working with Ross Cobb) and consults for a variety of wine brands across Sonoma County.

Why: I chose this wine for several reasons. Firstly, LaRue celebrates its tenth anniversary this year! Join the celebration on August 3rd in Sonoma, where 30 (yes, 30!) wines from over the past decade will be poured from magnums. Tickets are available here>

It’s true I also have a direct connection. I’m thrilled to share that I just signed on to pitch in and help Katy and her team with harvest this season. I can’t imagine any better complement to nurturing Woman-Owned Wineries project than to be knee-deep in grapes alongside the very women this project champions.

So raise a glass (specifically, of  this way-elegant Pinot Noir, ) to ten years of a winemaker’s perseverance, to women supporting women, and to the gifts of Sonoma Coast terroir–


“I’ve been working with Russell Rice and Helene Spivak since 2007, when I was at Flowers Winery. When I started LaRue in 2009, I was lucky to be able to be able to continue to work with Rice-Spivak and have now been working with the vineyard for LaRue for 10 years.

This vineyard is located in the sliver of the Sonoma Coast that is dear to my heart. The area is subject to a beautiful balance of cool Pacific breezes and warm, sunny Screen Shot 2019-07-11 at 10.42.29 AMdays. The soil is unique in that, along with the more common Goldridge sandy loam soils, it also offers some volcanic ash.

The 2016 vintage was moderate until August, when we had a cool spell for two weeks. This slowed the ripening, and we harvested in two separate picks: August 31st and September 11th. This wine is aged for 20 months in barrel and was just released this spring.”

Sonoma County locals: Katy will be meeting the public at La Dolce Vita wine bar in Petaluma on the evening of July 11th. The bar will be pouring the 2014 LaRue Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (52% Rice-Spivak, 26% Thorn Ridge, & 22% Emmaline Ann) by the glass through the month of July.


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