Vineyards is a small, family-owned and -operated winery in the Russian River Valley
specializing in the production of Burgundian-styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
and a limited amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kistler Vineyards was founded in 1978 by the Kistler family. The first vintage
in 1979 produced 3,500 cases of wine and since then the winery has slowly grown
to the planned production level of 25,000 cases per year.
Kistler Vineyards has two central figures, Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler. Steve
Kistler received a B. A. from Stanford University, studied at U. C. Davis and Fresno
State University for two yearly and was an assistant at Ridge Vineyards for two
years before founding Kistler Vineyards. He serves as wine maker and oversees
vineyard operations. Mark Bixler received degrees from M. I. T. and U. C. Berkeley,
taught Chemistry at Fresno State University for seven years and worked at Fetzer
vineyards for two years. Mark shares wine making responsibilities, and is the
chemist and business manager for Kist1er vineyards.
After years of planning, we completed construction of our new winery at our Vine
Hill Road vineyard in the summer of 1992. The facility is state of the art, optimized
for the production of limited quantities of the very highest quality Chardonnay
and Pinot Noir.
Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker
himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct
character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts,
is aged in 50% new French oak barrel unracked and in contact with all its fermentation
lees has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing,
and is bottled unfiltered and, if clarity permits, unfined after 11-18 months
of barrel age.
Our low-yielding (less than two tons per acre), dry farmed pinot noir vineyard
in the Russian River Valley contains a mixture of clones from French and American
sources. The Pinot Noir is made with an initial extended cold maceration of the
grapes with their juice (for the extraction of concentrated flavors without tannin),
followed by an ultra traditional fermentation (including 50-100% of the stems).
Total cuvaison time is up to four weeks and the wine is aged in 100% new French
oak barrels for 18 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Kistler Vineyards / 4707 Vine Hill Road / Sebastopol, CA 95472 / 707-823-5603