The wines of Littorai
One of California's leading producers of Pinot Noir


Ted Lemon, with finger pointing, pouring his wines at the International Pinot Noir celebration

Littorai was founded back in 1993 by Ted Lemon and his wife Heidi, and makes serious expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from selected vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino.

The gravity-flow winery, completed in 1998, is environmentally sensitive, built of straw bales, with all the waste being recycled. The 30 acre property surrounding it is farmed biodynamically, and is self-sustaining.

Ted has extensive experience in Europe. He began by studying Enology at the Universite de Bourgogne, followed by spells working at a number of Burgundy properties, including Dujac, De Villaine, Roumier, Parent and Bruno Clair. Indeed. One of his claims to faim is that he was the first American ever hired as a winemaker and vineyard manager of a Burgundian estate at Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault—this was when Ted was in his mid-20s. As a result of his experience here, and also later experience gained back in California, he has become a thoughtful, talented winemaker.

These wines are superb, but they’re hard to get hold of (made in small quantities, plus high demand), and they aren’t cheap. So it’s rare to find them outside the USA, but they’re well worth seeking out. As well as making his own wines, Ted consults to others, most notably new superstar biodynamic Central Otago winery Burn Cottage.


Littorai Cerise Pinot Noir 2006 Anderson Valley
Fresh, elegant and spicy, this wine has some beautifully focused cherry fruit with nice spicy structure. There’s some meatiness here, but it’s remarkably light on its feet. Serious effort. 93/100 02/10

Littorai Havens Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 Sonoma Coast
Smooth, pure and elegant with wonderfully fine cherry fruit. Silky structure and a lovely texture. 94/100 02/10

Littorai Mays Canyon Pinot Noir 2006 Russian River Valley, Sonoma
Sweet aromatic nose. The palate is focused and fresh with nice definition to the expressive cherryish fruit. There is lovely structure and good acidity too – a well balanced, complex Pinot Noir. 93/100 (08/08)

Littorai Havens Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Sonoma Coast
Very fresh cherry and herb nose with some attractive green notes plus hints of tar. The palate is warm with rounded, spicy character and a lovely expressive personality. Needs some time to integrate properly. 92/100 (08/08)

Wines tasted as indicated (month/year)  
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