Three Sticks is named for the Roman numeral three, and it is a reference to the name of the founder, Bill Price III. Price had a career in private equity which eventually led him and business partners to invest in California wine estates. Price also started buying prime vineyards in the region and in 2007 left his career in investment to devote himself full time to wine ventures. Three Sticks was launched in 2002. Based in an historic, 19th-century adobe home in downtown Sonoma, Three Sticks owns vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley and Carneros appellations. Bob Cabral became Three Sticks winemaker in 2015 after a celebrated career making wines at numerous Sonoma County estates, including William Selyem. In 2011 Wine Enthusiast named him Winemaker of the Year after being awarded the journal’s first 100 pt North American Pinot Noir. Three Sticks produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Russian River Valley AVA is named for the river that meanders from Mendocino County in the north until it finally runs into the Pacific Ocean north of San Francisco. The AVA is cool thanks to its proximity to the northern California coast and the river, and grape growers must learn to deal with regular fog. Nevertheless in recent decades the AVA has become one of the best in the state, meaning that its wines often earn excellent reviews and have considerable cachet. The AVA status was awarded in 1983 and today the appellation has 15,000 vineyard acres. Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape though Pinot Noir has also been very successful in recent decades. Russian River Valley Pinot Noir are known for being rich, lush and filled with concentrated fruit and berry flavors. Russian River Pinot Noirs are today considered some of the best domestic Pinot Noirs.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.