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Masut Vineyard and Winery

In the 1950's Barney Fetzer first settled in California's Mendocino County with his family to grow grapes. Current proprietors, brothers Ben and Jake Fetzer, grew up in the wine industry and in the early 1900's their parents Bobby and Sheila Fetzer acquired a close to 486 hectare ranch in the Russian River Valley which they planted on two unique sites: the Lower Vineyard near the river was planted with Pinot Noir on weathered sedimentary rock and clay soils, and the Upper Vineyard at the top of the mountain was also planted with Pinot Noir with a small block of Chardonnay on weathered sandstone soils and dry farmed. In 1994 the brothers began planting a new vineyard called Masút, which sparked their passion for hillside Pinot Noir. Masút is a Pomo Indian word for “dark, rich earth” and for a Pomo settlement in the area. They did not produce their first vintage until 2011, but ultimately were so successful in crafting an original wine of quality, that the authorities were persuaded to create the Eagle Peak AVA in Mendocino County. The AVA was created because this mountainous region, around 125 miles north of San Francisco, performed differently from the encircling Redwood AVA: there was an inherent difference in its topography, climate and soils, and so a separate AVA was warranted. The first wine to use the new Eagle Peak AVA on its label was Masút's 2013 Pinot Noir. The Masút state-of-the-art winery sits high on the ridge and was built in honour of their late father. Encased in redwood with a green metal roof, it blends beautifully into the majestic landscape. Masút farm sustainably and organically. The grapes are hand-picked and each block and clone is fermented separately in open top tanks. The wines are aged in French oak “sur lie” for up to 15 months before they are bottled unfined and unfiltered. These Burgundian style wines from this secret gem of California are a real find!