Etude was established 1982, when founding winemaker Tony Soter set his sights on the cool-climate Carneros region in the pursuit of producing world class Pinot Noir.
As a winemaker, Tony always had a fascination with Pinot Noir. He was quoted as saying "Pinot Noir is the most appropriate vehicle with which to study wine growing, precisely because of its demanding nature but also because of its delicacy and transparency. Make no mistake it is a humbling pursuit, but when it’s right, Pinot Noir is a glorious and moving thing. It is in the pursuit of that experience that we all work.”
In 2000, Grace Benoist Ranch was developed – the culmination of an eighteen year journey in finding the most suitable terroir for our Estate vineyards. On the ranch are seven Chardonnay clones, nine Heirloom Pinot Noir clones, and eight additional Pinot clones, all divided into 24 individual vineyard blocks, each with its own soil type, rootstock, grape variety and clonal type. These individual vineyard blocks average only 8 acres in size. The spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit.
Pinot Noir offers intricate flavor profiles, many of which are unique to its growing region. Beyond Carneros, Etude sources fruit from the Central Coast region of California, Oregon, and even New Zealand. This diversity offers our guests the opportunity to see the world though the lens of Pinot Noir. The flavors, aromas, and textures are a direct impact of the teroirs on which the grapes are grown.