Now owned by Thomas Rivers Brown, Aston Estate is located near the remote township of Annapolis, approximately five miles and two ridge lines in from the coast. This area is close enough to benefit from the ocean’s cooling effects yet is just outside the fog line, so days are long and temperate. The 14 acre southwest facing vineyard thrives in a microclimate typified by full-sun days and moderate temperatures that are a standout in the cooler Sonoma Coast climate.
Thomas vinified the first vintage in 2004 under the Aston Experimental label. The vineyard is planted exclusively to Dijon clones 115 (2 acres), 667 (4 acres) and 777 (8 acres). In the beginning, the style was a bit bigger reflecting what was currently happening on the coast. As the vineyard matured, so too did the area develop, and other vineyards and projects from that area continued to evolve to reflect what is now considered a "true Sonoma Coast style". With better access to the site and more mature plantings, it has become easier to take the quality of the fruit to exactly where Thomas wanted off the Estate. After 20 years of effort, the established vines now ripen more thoroughly at lower brix which has tamed the style a bit to where it now reflects the power and intensity of wines from the Annapolis area, but delivered in a more refined and balanced style.
The superb combination of marine-influenced climate, scarcity of plantable land, and proven track record for growing stellar quality grapes have catapulted this region into the forefront of American winemaking and the appellation’s wines are a “must have” for the pinot passionate. The Estate produces two wines: the Sonoma Coast bottling which comes from its own block in the vineyard which is a balanced, expressive Pinot Noir that resonates with all the hallmark notes of the Estate vineyard; and the “Estate” Pinot Noir (red X label), which is carefully sourced from select blocks and expositions to maximize the terroir of the true Sonoma Coast.