theCompass mobile application is a winery, brewery, and distillery locator for North America.

Kistler Vineyards

Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyards is a small, family-owned and -operated winery in the Russian River Valley specializing in the production of Burgundian-styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Kistler Vineyards was founded in 1978 by the Kistler family. The first vintage in 1979 produced 3,500 cases of wine and since then the winery has slowly grown to the planned production level of about 25,000 cases per year. Kistler Vineyards has two central figures, Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler. Steve Kistler received a B.A. from Stanford University, studied at U.C. Davis and Fresno State University for two years, and was an assistant at Ridge Vineyards for two years before founding Kistler Vineyards. He serves as winemaker and oversees vineyard operations. Mark Bixler received degrees from M.I.T. and U.C. Berkeley, taught Chemistry at Fresno State University for seven years, and worked at Fetzer Vineyards for two years. Mark shares winemaking responsibilities, and is the chemist and business manager for Kistler Vineyards. Kistler's grape sources include some of the finest vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties. After years of planning, we constructed our new winery at our Vine Hill Vineyard in the Russian River Valley in 1992. The facility is state of the art, optimized for the production of limited quantities of the very highest quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts, is aged in 50% new French oak barrels unracked and in contact with all its fermentation lees, has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing, and is bottled unfiltered and, generally, unfined after 11-18 months of barrel age. Our low-yielding (pruned and thinned to yield about two tons per acre) pinot noir vineyards in the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast contain a mixture of clones from French and American sources. The Pinot Noir is made with an initial extended cold maceration of the grapes with their juice (for the extraction of concentrated flavors without tannin), followed by a traditional Burgundian fermentation in small, open-top fermenters. Total cuvaison time is up to four weeks and the wine is aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 14 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.


View Map | View Weather

Address Web Social
4707 Vine Hill Road, Santa Rosa, CA, US, 95472 Email:
Phone: 707-823-5603 Web:
Fax: 707-823-5603
Back to CA wine list


  Cuvée Catherine Pinot Noir
Explosive nose of wild blackberries, cassis and minerals. Extremely primary today, conveying an attractive crushed raw fruit quality. Very intensely flavored and tightly wound. Finishes very long and perfumed. Delicious.
  Cuvée Cathleen Chardonnay
Green-tinged yellow. Conveys a powerful impression of soil character. A very young, strongly mineral wine that builds slowly in the mouth. Vibrant, firmly structured, with a long stony aftertaste.
  Cuvée Elizabeth Pinot Noir
Deep, vibrant aroma of blackberry, violets and a bit of underbrush. Wonderfully sweet and primary flavors. Impresses as much with its complexity and perfume as with its power. This extremely youthful wine finishes with fine tannins and persistent flavors of cassis and blackberry. Delicious.
  Durell Vineyard Chardonnay
Green-tinged yellow color. Precise soil-infused aromas of wet stone, hazelnuts and spices. Intensely flavored and thick, with a firm mineral backbone. A vibrant, extroverted wine which will provide much pleasure over the mid term.
  Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
Green-tinged pale yellow color. Pronounced roasted grain, truffle, and wild herb aroma. Wonderfully sweet and broad on entry, then firm, dense and minerally. Finishes very long and seamless. Delicious.
  Hirsch Pinot Noir
Highly aromatic nose featuring black raspberry and cassis. Dense, thick and sweet, with bright acids giving the flavors excellent definition. Already highly perfumed in the mouth. Finishes firm and long, with very fine tannins. Delicious
  Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay
Green-tinged pale yellow color. Complex aroma of toasted almond and minerals. Its flavors of crushed stone and hazelnuts are subtle and understated, very much in the tradition of the best young white burgundies. Very long, slow-building and persistent finish.
  Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay
Green-tinged color. Always the most Puligny-like in character combining high-pitched aromas of stone fruits (not citrus) and white flowers while supported by an underlying minerality. A wine of great finesse and energy, showing a white rose perfume in the mouth and an extremely long, minerally finish. Delicious now and ageworthy.
  Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir
Very pure blackberry aromas, fresh and well delineated. An extremely harmonious wine displaying more mineral precision than the Hirsch. Very primary today showing the juiciness and fruit intensity of the best burgundies. Finishes extremely long, with the tannins buried under fruit. Delicious now.
  McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay
Green-tinged pale yellow color. Intense Chablis-like aromas including lime blossom, flint, and slate. Very pure, vibrant and precise flavors featuring minerals and crushed stone. Excellent extract and structure.
  Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Enjoys the same precocious, flattering qualities of the 2002, but with a more profound, complicating soil character. Very vibrant, fresh flavors combining blueberries, violets, and graphite. Decant and enjoy now. Excellent food wine.
  Vine Hill Vineyard Chardonnay
Green-tinged color. Deep complex nose combining grapefruit, powdered stone and a strong suggestion of nut oil. At once precise and powerful with an intense minerally character and plenty of inner mouth perfume. A wonderfully subtle, slow-building, spicy finish. Ageworthy.


Add New Review