Churchill Wine Cellars
Ken and Susan Churchill are also refugees from the corporate world who sold their environmental consulting
business and moved to the Russian River Valley to make ultra-premium Pinot Noir. Fortunately,
they found prime vineyard property on Olivet Lane and lovingly manage their one-acre estate Bella
Luna Vineyard with sustainable and precision farming. Anthony Austin is the talented winemaker who
is a legend in Santa Barbara County. In 1975, the Firestones started Santa Barbara’s first modern-day
commercial winery and their first winemaker was Anthony Austin. Austin crafted many memorable
award-winning wines for both Firestone and his own eponymous label, Austin Cellars. Currently he is
also the winemaker at Sonoma Coast Vineyards.
The Bella Luna vineyard is planted on sandy loam soil to Dijon clone selections, including 115, 667, 777
and the newer 459 clone. The vines are tight spaced at 4’ x 4’. Irrigation is kept to a minimum. The
small size of the vineyard allows for precision viticulture.
The 2004 Churchill Cellars Russian River Valley Blend Pinot Noir and
2004 Churchill Cellars Bella Luna Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot
Noir were reviewed previously in the PinotFile
2005 Churchill Cellars Bella Luna Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $45, 233 cases.
A nine day cold soak with 10% whole clusters. Aged 18 months in 50% new
French oak which is air dried for 36 months.
Right in step with the luscious
2004 edition. Terrific aromatics featuring candied cherry, spice, and newlysawn
wood. Easily approachable with layers of sweet red Pinot fruit, leather,
mocha, oak and herbs. Fine and creamy in texture with integrated tannins and
impeccable balance. Will only improve with cellaring. The future looks bright
for this young vineyard.
Churchill Cellars is located at 1574 Olivet Rd, Santa Rosa, CA. 707-578-
5393. The wines may be purchased on the website at www.churchillcellars.com. Discounts are available to wine club members.