This Carneros pioneer helped disprove the conventional wisdom that only the French could produce great Pinot Noir. Back in 1981, when Saintsbury released its first Pinot, the region had yet to earn its current reputation as a setting in which the often finicky varietal could prosper. If you still have doubts, try Saintsbury's earthy, intense Brown Ranch Pinot Noir. The other Pinot Noirs tend to be lighter in style and more fruit-forward. Named for the English author and
critic George Saintsbury (he wrote Notes on a Cellar-Book), the winery also makes Chardonnays, Syrahs, and a delightful Vin Gris.