Flowers Vineyard & Winery is a 321-acre estate on a ridge on the northern Sonoma Coast. It was established in 1989 when Walt and Joan Flowers purchased the land. The Flowers had owned a nursery in Pennsylvania, but had long wanted to combine their love of agriculture with their interest in winemaking. The estate makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay only, using organic and sustainable farming practices. Wine reviewers have given the wines high compliments. Matt Kramer of Wine Spectator has written that Flowers wines are among a small group of U.S. Pinot Noirs that are approaching Burgundian Grand Cru-like quality.
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.