Radio-Coteau is a Sonoma County winery founded in 2002 by Eric Sussman. Though the winery is in Sebastopol, the estate sources grapes from several northern California appellations. Its name is a colloquial French term meaning “word of mouth” and Radio-Coteau has achieved a cult following for its small batch Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Zinfandel. Sussman, who is the winemaker, worked with producers in Burgundy, Washington and Northern California before forming a partnership with Bill and Joan Smith, owners of W.H. Smith Wines, to start Radio-Coteau.. Reviewers have given Radio-Coteau wines high compliments and the wines are generally available primarily through the estate’s mailing list.
Sonoma Coast AVA runs from San Pablo Bay in the south to Mendocino County in the north. It includes 7,000 vineyard acres and earned AVA status in 1987. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean means it gets double the rainfall of nearby inland appellations and the ocean gives the appellation a relatively cool climate. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can thrive in these conditions, and there are numerous producers making critically acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.