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 the earthy, intense Brown Ranch Pinot Noir. As crafted by winemaker Chris Kajani 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 Chardonnay and a perky Vin Gris. When the weather cooperates, the leisurely tastings at this unpretentious operation take place in a rose garden.