Senses Wines is a new Sonoma Coast estate founded by three childhood friends with complementary skills and a shared passion for wine. Chris Strieter has an advanced degree in finance and worked with Williams Selyem before taking charge of business at Senses Wines. Max Thieriot grew up working on his family’s vineyards and he oversees operations and vineyard management, among other tasks. Max Thieriot is also an actor known for his work in such movies as House at the End of the Street and Chloe, and such television mini-series as Bates Motel and Texas Rising. Myles Lawrence-Briggs manages production with consulting winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, one of California’s most admired winemakers. Senses Wines sources grapes from Sonoma Coast vineyards owned by parents of the founders. Those estate vineyards are B.A. Thieriot Vineyard, owned by Cameron and Bridgit Thieriot, and Hillcrest Vineyard, owned by Carl Briggs and Lisa Lawrence. Senses also sources grapes from Charles Heintz and Terra de Promissio Vineyards. Debut releases were 2013 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines are generally available only via 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 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.