His parents said he was nuts for wanting to plant grapes and that people go broke looking for water. This all may have been partly true. In 1982, with no water source, Gary planted his first five-acre vineyard block on an east-facing slope at 1,300 feet. After eight years of searching, he finally discovered groundwater beneath hundreds of feet of granite. He planted another seventeen acres to Pinot Noir, and it wasn’t long before California artisan winemakers started lining up to buy his grapes.
The first vintage of Lucia debuted in 2000 with the Lucia Pinot Noir from the Garys’ Vineyard. It was the beginning of a new chapter for the Pisoni family, with Mark and Jeff Pisoni joining their father Gary to pursue a shared dream of building the family wine business and adding winemaking to grape growing.
Today, with Mark as grower and Jeff as winemaker, Lucia wines are considered among the finest in California. In the Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck wrote: “The Pisoni Family’s Lucia label continues to be a source of incredible wines that always over-deliver.”
Lucia 2018 Garys’ Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands
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Jeb Dunnuck 96 POINTS: The 2018 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard is a little more dense, focused, and tight, with beautiful black cherry and currant fruits as well as notes of camphor, new leather, violets, and earthy notes. I love its balance. Medium to full-bodied, it has nicely integrated acidity, subtle oak, and a great finish. It’s going to keep for 7-8 years, easily. Along with the 2016, it’s the finest vintage of this release I’ve tasted!
Jeff Pisoni (winemaker) Notes: “True to form, the 2018 Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir yet again stands up to meet its lofty reputation as one of the most highly regarded sites for Pinot Noir in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Starting in the glass with an unyielding dark ruby hue from its rim to its core, this wine flaunts its youth with aromas of black cherry, ripe plum, and citrus blossom. Taking advantage of a near perfect growing season, the vines ripened their clusters slowly and consistently, setting the stage for a wine of notable purity, complexity, and structure. Dark berry and graphite notes weave together with bright, lively acidity and soft, supple tannin to form a final seamlessly integrated finish. A remarkable combination of meticulous winemaking in an ideal vintage, this Pinot Noir is wonderful at the moment, but will age gracefully for years.”
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