Pali Wine Co. gets its name from the hometown of the founders, Pacific Palisades, an elegant suburb in the hills above Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Tim Perr and Scott Knight wanted to make artisanal Pinot Noir, and in 2005 they began producing wine in rented space in Lompoc. In 2007 they built a new facility in Lompoc, and today they produce about 20,000 cases a year, primarily Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay. Aaron Walker is winemaker and grapes are sourced from Santa Barbara County and Sonoma County. The wines are sometimes named for beaches off the southern and central California Coast, such as Huntington Point and Riviera Point.
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.