Aston Estate was founded in 2001 by acclaimed Napa winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, noted winery founder Fred Schrader, and an anonymous business partner that the estate calls Mr. Big. The 40-acre estate is in the Sonoma Coast region, located north of Bodega Bay and about five miles east of the coast. Aston makes estate grown Pinot Noir. Aston’s wines win compliments from reviewers. The Wine Advocate rated the 2011 vintage at 94 pts and called it “gorgeous.”
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.