THE PLACE: To say that Monterey County—and more specifically the Santa Lucia Highlands—is special would be an understatement. Heralded for its diverse wildlife, bountiful agriculture, and pristine vineyards, it is what’s happening beneath the surface that truly makes this region so uniquely suited for growing world-class wine grapes.
The Gamay Noir vines, traditionally found in the granite-dominated soils of the Beaujolais region of central France, sink their roots deep into the earth below the Santa Lucia Highlands, where they find a familiar composition of decomposed granite. This soil is an exceptionally rare find in coastal California; the granite was delivered here when part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range was sheared off and sent northward by the San Andreas Fault activity and forms what is today’s Sierra de Salinas.
This confluence of geology and climate give the grapevines a wonderful granite foundation among a cool and foggy coastal growing season. The Gamay Noir vines deliver great expressivity, flavor and acidity.
WINEMAKING: Though credit must be given to this beautifully expressive variety and the granite-laden soils, it is the winemaking techniques that have truly brought the wine to life. As a nod to traditional Beaujolais Cru wines, this Gamay Noir was fermented with 60% whole clusters in open-top tanks to create a semi-carbonic environment. To add to the complexity of the wine (and lending a touch of local history), a portion of the fruit was fermented in a vintage California redwood tank. The 100% native yeast fermentation featured a combination of punch downs and pump overs, allowing for gentle extraction of aroma and flavor. After fermentation, the wine was transferred to a rare and special selection of neutral French oak barrels, where it aged beautifully for 8 months prior to being bottling unfined and unfiltered.
TASTING NOTES: The newest member of the Lucy family, the 2022 Gamay Noir is an exciting representation of this lesser-known French variety. Sporting a youthful ruby hue, this wine bursts from the glass with raspberry, Bing cherry, fresh violets, and unmistakable spice notes from the whole cluster fermentation. Flavors of cranberry, red currant, and dried herbs make this irresistibly approachable and keep it true to its old-world roots. With a soft and elegant structure, as well as spirited acidity, this Gamay Noir is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the family.
The Pisoni Family has always been committed to making exceptional wines, and Lucy allows them to combine this passion with philanthropy. The Pisoni family donates one dollar of each bottle sold to the Big Sur Fire Department.
60% Whole Cluster
100% Neutral Barrels
100% Native Yeast