Tour Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
Sonoma Cutrer is a balanced confluence of Old World Heritage and New World Innovation, that combines our unique sense of Place and approachability with our meticulous Philosophy and quality to produce balanced world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noir that are distinct reflections of their terroir.
Located in the heart of Windsor, California.
- Our meticulous Philosophy and quality to produce balanced world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noir that are distinct reflections of their terroir.
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Winemaking is often a trade passed down from generation to generation, and Mick Schroeter is no exception. Starting out on his own as an oenologist at Kaiser Stuhl winery in Australia, Mick wanted to blaze his own trail and had no intentions of following in his father and uncle’s footsteps at the Penfold Winery. Then in 1982, as fate would have it, Penfold bought Kaiser Stuhl and reunited Mick with his family in the business.
Although Mick was already well-versed in winemaking, Penfold allowed him to continue his pursuit of total enlightenment, sponsoring his winemaking education at the famed Roseworthy College and providing him a scholarship to visit and study Chilean wine country. This was followed with a 6-month tour around the world with his wife and a stop in California to work the wine harvest.
Mick rose rapidly through the Penfold system and had the privilege to be part of their red winemaking team, eventually working on Penfold’s legendary Grange Hermitage, the benchmark of Aussie Shiraz. From there, Mick accepted an invitation from Geyser Peak Winery in California to take over as Vice President of Winemaking and for 17 years was in charge of vineyard assessment, harvest scheduling, winemaking direction, budgeting and brand ambassadorship.
It is his long track record of success and illustrious career in Australia and California, along with twice being named “Winemaker of the Year” at the London International Wine & Spirit Competition, that gave Mick the encompassing experience to take the reins at Sonoma-Cutrer. He considers it one of the industry’s true dream jobs. He is honored to carry on the brand’s storied legacy but also eager to take it to new heights.
Schroeter now lives with his wife, Linda, in Sonoma County, California, along with their children, Matilda, Sadie, and Charlie.
Discussions about creating a cutting-edge winery began, and Sonoma-Cutrer gathered a crew of wine experts including Terrence Clancy, Brad Web, Bill Bonetti, Robert Haas, David Reid and Chuck Bennett. Under the guidance of these experts, Sonoma-Cutrer made Chardonnay its main focus, and it was to be made exclusively from Sonoma-Cutrer’s own vineyards. In 1981, ground was broken for the new winery.
Manager, Direct to Consumer
Stacey's passion for the wine industry comes from the joy in sharing it with others and the many ways it allows her to be both creative and analytical.
Zidaniela's experience has made her perfect for the role of crafting Sonoma-Cutrer's outstanding Pinot Noirs.
When it comes to making wine, Cara Morrison brings an uncommon wealth of knowledge and passion to Sonoma-Cutrer.
Tasting Room Manager
Daniel recently completed the Certified Sommelier Exam through the Court and plans to sit for the Advanced Sommelier Exam later this year.
Sales & Events Manager
Wendy personifies the phrase “joie de vivre”. As the Sales & Event Manager, she creates fabulous experiences and events for Sonoma-Cutrer.
Certified Wine Educator
In 2009, Harper earned his Master Sommelier Diploma, the highest distinction a professional can attain in fine wine and beverage service.
Many refer to Chef John Ash as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine”. In 1980 he opened his namesake restaurant, John Ash & Company, in Santa Rosa, CA.
Passion can be an overworked adjective in the wine industry, but not so much when describing Mark Elcombe.
Practices & Techniques
Our process is a careful symphony. Instead of relying solely on Old World tradition or New World innovation, we marry Burgundian practices with Californian innovation and a deep appreciation of the Sonoma County terroir. We borrow and we create. We utilize hard work and artistry, science and intuition, knowing and feeling.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Select lots of grapes from the Cutrer Vineyard are used in our The Cutrer Chardonnay. The remainder is used in our Russian River Ranches and Sonoma Coast Chardonnay blends. There are also small lots of grapes that contribute to our limited-production Pinot Noir.
Located at the southern end of the Sonoma Valley appellation lies our Les Pierres vineyard. What was once the site of a rock quarry, this soil is 50-70% rock content, which infuses this wine with a mineral essence.
This high rock content puts considerable stress on the vines. The nutritional deficiencies and poor water retention of the soil drastically reduces the size of both clusters and individual berries.
Only select lots of grapes from the Les Pierres Vineyard are used to make our acclaimed Les Pierres Chardonnay, while the balance is used in our Sonoma Coast Chardonnay blends. There are also a few blocks of Pinot Noir that contribute to our limited production of Pinot Noir.
Shiloh Ranch is in the Mayacamas Mountain Range, located five miles east of the winery on Shiloh Road in Windsor. The vineyard lies in the Chalk Hill viticultural district, a part of the larger Russian River Valley appellation. Its soil is "Franciscan Melange," composed of marine seabed, volcanics, basalt, lava tufts and compressed ash, plus alluvial deposits from the Mayacamas Range and the Russian River. Southwest exposure on the western face of the Mayacamas Range creates a warm microclimate. Chardonnay grapes from 167 acres of this vineyard are used in our Russian River Ranches and Sonoma Coast wines.
Owsley Ranch is the newest of Sonoma-Cutrer's vineyards. Its 90 acres of Goldridge sandy loam is planted with both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Owsley Ranch is highly influenced by the cold fog coming through the Bloomfield Gap, as it is our closest vineyard to the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard straddles a valley that offers multiple sun exposures on either side with the Atascadero Creek cutting through the south side. Owsley grapes are used in our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Located between our winery and Shiloh Vineyard, along River Road, the Kent Vineyard spans 90 acres planted with Chardonnay, which is used in our famous Russian River Ranches and Sonoma Coast blends. The soils of Kent Vineyard are gravelly, sandy clay over heavy, black Clear Lake clay. The northern half of the vineyard is flat, but the southern half lies on the old sloped riverbed called Woolsey Bench. Morning and evening fog from the Pacific Ocean and Russian River make it a perfect spot to grow Chardonnay grapes.
Our largest vineyard at Vine Hill Ranch is comprised of 400 acres that were once part of one of the area's most renowned horse farms. Its gently rolling hills face southwest, and horses still monitor the daily progress of the grapes from afar. The vineyard has a 400-foot elevation change from ridge to valley. Its deep, sandy loam, known as Goldridge, and moderate temperature fluctuation are perfect for growing grapes for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Chardonnay grapes grown at Vine Hill Ranch make an important contribution to our Russian River Ranches and Sonoma Coast blends. Vine Hill is also becoming an important part of our limited-production Pinot Noir because of its maturing blocks of Pinot Noir vines.
2013 North Coast Wine Challenge 91 Points/ Gold Medal 2010 Pinot Noir Estate
2013 San Diego International Wine Competition Best Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2013 San Diego International Wine Competition Gold 2011 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
2013 Pacific Rim Wine Competition Gold 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2013 Pacific Rim Wine Competition Gold 2010 The Cutrer Chardonnay
2013 New World International Wine Competition Gold 2010 The Cutrer Chardonnay
2010 Beverage Dynamics, April 2013 Five Stars (92) “Rich yet lively, hard to believe it’s barrel fermented given its fresh character; lush tropical fruit with pineapple-lifesaver finish.” Sonoma-Cutrer Les Pierres Chardonnay
2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Gold 2009 Les Pierres
2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Gold 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
California State Fair 2012 92 points Pinot Noir 2008
California State Fair 2012 94 points/Gold Medal Les Pierres 2009
California State Fair 2012 95 points/Gold Medal The Cutrer 2009
2011 New World International Wine Competition Gold Sonoma-Cutrer 2007 Pinot Noir
2011 Riverside International Wine Competition Gold Sonoma-Cutrer 2007 Pinot Noir
San Diego International Wine Competition – 2011 Results Gold Pinot Noir 2007