Ceritas was started in 2005 by John Raytek and Phoebe Bass. The husband and wife team make wine from vineyard sources in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the west Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley. Raytek is the winemaker and Bass, who grew up in a family that owns and manages vineyards, directs the farming operations for each Ceritas vineyard. Of particular note is Ceritas’ relationship with the Peter Martin Ray vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The historic vineyard dates to the 1940s and was the source for some of the earliest and most celebrated Chardonnay in California. Ceritas also sources grapes from Porter Bass vineyard on the Sonoma Coast, which is owned by Bass’ parents. Ceritas makes limited production Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, available primarily through Ceritas mailing list. The winery is in Santa Rosa.
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 white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.