Out there dripping in finesse, Littorai stands for pinots of crystalline precision.

Located on Sonoma’s west coast, Littorai is considered one of the most important producers of chardonnay and pinot noir in the US and its wines are a wonderful representation of all that is great about Californian winemaking. The 30-acre vineyard was established by Heidi and Ted Lemon in 1993, with the winery following in 2008, marking the realisation of a long-held dream for the Lemons.

Winemaker Ted earned his stripes working for the likes of Dujac, de Villaine, Roumier, Bruno Clair and Domaine Parent in Burgundy before being appointed winemaker at Domaine Guy Roulot in Mersault. Although certainly inspired by his time in Burgundy, Ted isn’t one for slavish mimicry and his wines have played an important role in defining the unique appeal of Californian pinot.

Guided by biodynamic farming philosophies in his vineyards, Ted produces around 11 different pinots and his wines are impressively elegant, acid-driven and low in alcohol. He focuses on single-vineyard wines, with fruit sourced exclusively from the western Sonoma and Mendocino counties (he also does a couple of regional blends from these regions).

The Littorai guys tell us that Sonoma Coast pinot tends to have a little bit more weight and concentration, with darker fruits and more earthy tones, which makes for some excellent drinking. If you haven’t visited Sonoma or can’t get there any time soon, take the journey with a bottle of Littorai’s pinot noir – it’s the essence of California.