Mauritson Wines

Mauritson Wines was a hot tip from Arista owner, Mark McWilliams. The family has been a huge influence in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley since 1868, producing some of the most expressive, distinctive Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels in the entire region.

  • Region: Sonoma & Anderson Valley
  • Winery Location: Healdsburg
  • Owner: Clay Mauritson
  • First Vintage: 1998
  • Winemaker: Emma Kudritzki Hall

Story

Since 1868, the Mauritson family has been growing grapes in the Dry Creek Valley. having first planted vines in 1884. The family’s Rockpile homestead and ranch grew to 1,600 hectares by the early 1960s when all but 280 were acquired by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop Lake Sonoma.

The family farming operation moved first to Alexander Valley, then expanded into the benchland of Dry Creek Valley. They currently manage 310 hectares of vineyard spread across Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Rockpile Appellations.

In the mid-1990s, Clay Mauritson returned from college with an unexpected longing to get back in the vineyards. Clay was determined to add winemaking to the family operation, honing his winemaking skills and knowledge of winery operations at Kenwood, Taft Street and Dry Creek Vineyards. In 1998 he released the inaugural Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel.

Soon after that inaugural release, he took a fresh look at Rockpile AVA and planted 14 hectares to vineyards in eight distinct blocks. The combination of low air moisture, poor soils and moderate temperatures was starting to turn heads. The family farming operation had come full circle. Six generations and more than 150 years later, Mauritson has earned a reputation for outstanding winemaking along with highly sought-after fruit.

Vineyards

The Rockpile Ridge Vineyard sit in the Rockpile AVA, located at the Northwest edge of Dry Creek Valley AVA where the two appellations actually overlap. Although it is located just 13 miles from the coast, Lake Sonoma provides an inversion layer that prevents the heavier fog that typically blankets other Northern California appellations, allowing for longer, more consistent sun exposure. Moisure and daytime temperatures are regulated by howling coastal breezes and, in many cases, steep slopes and rocky terrain require non-motorised vine management.

The line-up continues with a roll call of stunning sites in Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Chalk Hill. Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel from these vineyards brings stunning complexity and a distinctive character to the wines.

Winemaking

Leading the crew in the cellar, Emma Kudritzki Hall’s intensity is apparent. It’s the same drive that propelled her as an All-American college athlete (she played water polo at U.C. San Diego, where she earned a B.S. in Biology).

After her first grape harvest in 2001, at a boutique winery in the Sonoma Mayacamas Mountains, Emma was hooked. Next came five years of hands-on experience at other wineries close to home and as far-flung as New Zealand. After returning to California and receiving her Enology and Viticulture degree from Fresno State University in 2005, she became the Assistant Winemaker and Viticulturist at MacRostie Winery, where she worked for four years. She joined Mauritson in 2011, was promoted to Winemaker in January 2019, and shares founder Clay Mauritson’s belief that the best wines capture a specific sense of place, as well as express the unique conditions of each vintage.

Latest arrivals from Mauritson Wines

Four Corners Wine Icon

2019 Mauritson Wines, Rockpile Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rockpile 1x75cl

RP95
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot Vintage production: 740 Straddling the ridge between the two arms of Lake Sonoma is the Rockpile AVA. One of the newest... appellations in California, Rockpile's location and history can be described in one word: dramatic! S.P. Hallengren, great-great-great grandfather of Founder & Owner Clay Mauritson, first planted vines on the Rockpile valley floor in 1884, shipping every ounce of his wine back to Sweden. The Family's Rockpile homestead and ranch grew to 1,600 hectares by the early 1960s, when all but 280 ridgetop hectares were taken by the Army Corps of Engineers in order to develop Lake Sonoma. The vineyards shown in many of the historic family photos are now under water. It was not until the early 1990s that the first acres of modern-era vines were planted and thrived, once it was discovered that Rockpile held great potential for ultra-premium mountain fruit. What makes Rockpile so unique? The AVA is located at the Northwest edge of Dry Creek Valley where the two regions actually overlap. All the vineyards within the Rockpile AVA range from between 240-600m in elevation. Although Rockpile is located just 13 miles from the coast, Lake Sonoma provides an inversion layer that prevents the heavier fog that typically blankets other Northern California appellations, allowing for longer, more consistent sun exposure. Moisture and daytime temperatures are regulated by howling coastal breezes and, in many cases, the steep slopes and rocky terrain require non-motorised vine management. Running through Mauritson's Rockpile Ridge Vineyards is the Healdsburg–Rogers Creek Fault, a dominant earthquake fault in Northern California, and you can see why the story of Rockpile is pure geo-political drama. Four Corners Wine: "Great Cabernet expression, yet quite unlike anything we've tried before. The nose has a great profile of bramble fruit with a really pure streak of cassis, underscored by a nice mellow minerality and the faintest of floral notes. It's all framed by layers of fresh tobacco and cedar. The palate is fascinating, with the most incredible tannins, great energy, a rich and velvety structure with bags of super intense blackcurrant and blackberry. The finish has great length, completing an utterly refined Cabernet bursting with personality. Fantastic now, with a good 15 years ageing potential." (Dec. 2022)
£63 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £79.34 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2021 Mauritson Wines, Rockpile Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel, Rockpile 12x75cl

JD92
Blend: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah Vintage production: 1,057 cases Straddling the ridge between the two arms of Lake Sonoma is the Rockpile AVA. One of the newest appellations in California,... Rockpile's location and history can be described in one word: dramatic! S.P. Hallengren, great-great-great grandfather of Founder & Owner Clay Mauritson, first planted vines on the Rockpile valley floor in 1884, shipping every ounce of his wine back to Sweden. The Family's Rockpile homestead and ranch grew to 1,600 hectares by the early 1960s, when all but 280 ridgetop hectares were taken by the Army Corps of Engineers in order to develop Lake Sonoma. The vineyards shown in many of the historic family photos are now under water. It was not until the early 1990s that the first acres of modern-era vines were planted and thrived, once it was discovered that Rockpile held great potential for ultra-premium mountain fruit. What makes Rockpile so unique? The AVA is located at the Northwest edge of Dry Creek Valley where the two regions actually overlap. All the vineyards within the Rockpile AVA range from between 240-600m in elevation. Although Rockpile is located just 13 miles from the coast, Lake Sonoma provides an inversion layer that prevents the heavier fog that typically blankets other Northern California appellations, allowing for longer, more consistent sun exposure. Moisture and daytime temperatures are regulated by howling coastal breezes and, in many cases, the steep slopes and rocky terrain require non-motorised vine management. Running through Mauritson's Rockpile Ridge Vineyards is the Healdsburg–Rogers Creek Fault, a dominant earthquake fault in Northern California, and you can see why the story of Rockpile is pure geo-political drama.
£530 / Case£44.17 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £680.93 / Case, £56.74 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2021 Mauritson Wines, Rockpile Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel, Rockpile 1x75cl

JD92
Blend: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah Vintage production: 1,057 cases Straddling the ridge between the two arms of Lake Sonoma is the Rockpile AVA. One of the newest appellations in California,... Rockpile's location and history can be described in one word: dramatic! S.P. Hallengren, great-great-great grandfather of Founder & Owner Clay Mauritson, first planted vines on the Rockpile valley floor in 1884, shipping every ounce of his wine back to Sweden. The Family's Rockpile homestead and ranch grew to 1,600 hectares by the early 1960s, when all but 280 ridgetop hectares were taken by the Army Corps of Engineers in order to develop Lake Sonoma. The vineyards shown in many of the historic family photos are now under water. It was not until the early 1990s that the first acres of modern-era vines were planted and thrived, once it was discovered that Rockpile held great potential for ultra-premium mountain fruit. What makes Rockpile so unique? The AVA is located at the Northwest edge of Dry Creek Valley where the two regions actually overlap. All the vineyards within the Rockpile AVA range from between 240-600m in elevation. Although Rockpile is located just 13 miles from the coast, Lake Sonoma provides an inversion layer that prevents the heavier fog that typically blankets other Northern California appellations, allowing for longer, more consistent sun exposure. Moisture and daytime temperatures are regulated by howling coastal breezes and, in many cases, the steep slopes and rocky terrain require non-motorised vine management. Running through Mauritson's Rockpile Ridge Vineyards is the Healdsburg–Rogers Creek Fault, a dominant earthquake fault in Northern California, and you can see why the story of Rockpile is pure geo-political drama.
£45 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £57.74 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2018 Mauritson Wines, Loam Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 1x75cl

RP94
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Production: 170 cases Mauritson's vision for LOAM is simple: to produce exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons in Sonoma County by cultivating exemplary vineyards defined by... their soil. All wines in the LOAM series are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% identical clone and rootstock - but embody the single variable of the soil in which they were grown. LOAM Cabernet Sauvignon is Mauritson's proprietary blend of grapes sourced from vineyards planted in Positas, Suther, and Clough soils. It is composed of the best vineyards, grown in the best soil, from the best appellations. Perfectly structured, LOAM balances the brightness and focused tannins of hillside fruit with the dense, rich characteristics of fruit grown in the ancient riverbed and valley floor soils. Four Corners Wine: "A real 'WOW' Cabernet! Rich and intense on the nose with bags of grilled herbs meat juices, an almost compote/red wine jus note, a touch of caramelised mushroom, and a core of pure blackcurrant. On the palate it's extremely refined, youthful, and pure, with a juicy core boasting great depth and texture. It's an intense Cabernet, hugely appealing and distinct in its character. Stunning now, easier 15+ years of cellaring potential too." (Dec. 2022)
£84 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £104.54 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

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