WINERY SPOTLIGHT – Littorai, Sebastopol, Sonoma County, CA
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Littorai, a winery in Sonoma County. Littorai, derived from the Latin word litor meaning ‘the coast’ is exactly where this beautiful property can be found, in the true north coast of California, in the quaint town of Sebastopol. This winery was established by Ted and Heidi Lemon in the early 1990’s. Although the road that lead Ted Lemon to this time and place is dotted with a number of impressive accomplishments, what is more amazing is what Ted and his dedicated team are able to accomplish at this site. The winery itself is constructed of hay bale walls, designed to use a minimal amount of electricity, and engages gravity in order to move the wines from tank to barrel. All of the water used in production is recycled through innovative constructed wetlands which naturally recycle the water for reuse as irrigation. It is Ted Lemon’s philosophy that great wines are a product of the vineyard, not the cellar. Ted works intimately with each vine within the vineyard to accomplish this. A visit to the winery (by appointment only) reveals the intricate care and nurturing that goes in to everything they do at Littorai. Completely self-sustaining, this beautiful place exudes a culture of caring, nurturing and tending to the land for which we are simply stewards. Adhering to the philosophies of Rudolph Steiner, the father of biodynamic farming, Ted Lemon takes things a few steps further by growing all of his natural materials used for preparations and producing estate compost used as “fertilizer”. One day last September temperatures spiked to a record high in excess of 100’ f. Ted wanted to calm the vines a bit so sprinkled them with the house made Chamomile tea preparation he keeps on hand. “Our job as winemakers is to work in harmony with nature, not opposition.” We invite you to enjoy a bottle of Littorai from perhaps the most spoiled and loved vines in the world. We recommend the Liottorai Pinot Noir, Les Larmes 2016.