Fusion of Wind, Fog, and Flavors
Acquired by Bill Price in late 2012, our 406-acre Gap’s Crown Vineyard is one of the most iconic vineyards of the Sonoma Coast, consistently producing pinot noirs and chardonnays of distinction. Located on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain, known as the Petaluma Gap, this unique site allows for near-perfect ripening conditions with a combination of wind and fog that is almost always present. View the in-depth vineyard book here.
The Gap’s Crown Vineyard sits East of the town of Rohnert Park and rises up the western slope of Sonoma Mountain. This side of the mountain gets bathed with constant wind and fog that tunnel in through the Petaluma Gap and continue out to San Pablo Bay. Established on a relatively steep hillside, the vineyard enjoys a mainly southwest orientation, providing ideal positioning to capture the afternoon sun. Together, these effects create a long hang time in the vineyard and allow for distinct phenolic maturity of the fruit.
As a Heritage vineyard, we acknowledge and respect the history of Gap’s Crown that precedes our ownership. Originally developed by Premier Pacific Vineyards as part of the CalPERS investment portfolio, Gap’s Crown was first planted between 2002 and 2005. The 406-acre plot of land gave rise to 137 acres of flourishing vineyard and quickly gained wide recognition for the production of exceptional fruit. Pinot Noir shone especially bright at Gap’s Crown, garnering the vineyard an ardent following and producing many notable vineyard designate wines.
Gap’s Crown Vineyard ascends from about 300 to 900 feet in elevation, embracing a range of elevations contributing to its unique character. This topography provides a diverse set of soils in the vineyard. The majority of the pinot noir at Gap’s Crown finds itself rooted in the Goulding cobbly clay loam and the related Goulding-Toomes complex soils. These soils, distinguished mainly by their shallow, well-drained nature, are both volcanic and sedimentary and lend depth and complexity to their resulting wines. Alongside the pinot noir, some of our chardonnay vines also thrive in these same soils, while others flourish in Raynor Clay soils. These soils, in particular, are known for the richness, consistency, and texture they impart.
Mineral characteristics shine through these robust and exceptionally pretty Chardonnays. More Chablis-like in texture and flavor profile, this wine focuses on bright and creamy texture with crystalline acidity and a dusting of chalk. Our aging regimen on the lees provides a delicate backbone, while the structure and weight continue through to the lingering finish. It is about brightness and energy year after year for these Gap’s Crown Chardonnays.
Pinot Noir’s from Gap’s Crown are some of the most dense and intense wines in the Three Sticks lineup. The cooling influence of the Petaluma Gap leads to very long hang time for the fruit on the vine. The grapes develop thicker skins to combat the wind and fog while these components also help to regulate and warmer spells that might come through Sonoma County during ripening. The thicker skins lead to wines that have great color intensity and bigger, yet silky tannins that allow these wines to have extreme longevity in the cellar. One of the most consistent sites in terms of high-quality grapes, year after year makes Gap’s Crown a truly Grand Cru site.
AVA: Sonoma Coast, Petaluma Gap
Elevation: 310’- 840’
Soils: Goulding Cobbly Clay Loam, Goulding-Toomes Complex, Raynor Clay
Varietals: Pinot Noir 105.43 acres | Chardonnay 27.28 acres
Pinot Noir Clones: Swan, 114, 115, 667, 777, 828, Rochioli
Chardonnay Clones: 76, 124, 95, 96
Acres: 400+ total; 132.71 planted
- Gap’s Crown Vineyard Chardonnay | Sonoma Coast
- Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir | Sonoma Coast
- Gap’s Pinnacle Pinot Noir | Sonoma Coast
Our Heritage collection of wines hail from the most expansive estate vineyards in our collection. Durell, Gap’s Crown, and Walala are all known for producing rich, complex, deep wines that stand the test of time. From vintage to vintage, these wines surprise and delight.