Los Pilares

Los Pilares is a joint project between Coleman Zander and Michael Christian in the San Diego area. Michael was an old lover of California wine in the 80’s, and then moved to France for a while and immersed himself in wine there. When he returned to California in the 90’s, he was shocked to discover where California wine had gone. They each started by making their own wine in backyard vineyards, just for personal consumption. Now they source grapes from organic vineyards and make small amounts of wine that they sell. Coleman has begun an ambitious project to plant some brand new vineyards at 3500 feet of elevation around San Diego. They are firm believers that this is the future of San Diego wine, and we are excited to see the product of these vines when they are ready!


La Dona’s Muscat Pet Nat — Back to the top

La Dona’s Muscat Pet Nat tech sheet

Age of Vines: 7 years old

Yields: 5 tons per acre

Soil: Decomposed granite and alluvial cobble

Varieties: Muscat

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and fermented whole cluster in macro-bins and flex tanks for about 8 or 9 days without temperature control. The skins and stems remain in contact with the juice for 3 full days. They set aside some frozen must at harvest time, which is used to finish the fermentation in bottle. Zero additions and the wine is bottled undisgorged.


Black Pet Nat (BPN) — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 9 years

Soil: Sandy Loam and decomposed Granite

Yields: 2.5 tons per acre

Varieties: Muscat, Petits Grains, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and fermented whole cluster in macro-bins and flex tanks on the skins for about 3 days without temperature control and wild yeasts. The wine is pressed off the skins and continues to ferment for another 5 days or so. They set aside some frozen must at harvest time, which is used to finish the fermentation in bottle. Zero additions and the wine is bottled undisgorged.


High BPN — Back to the top

For years we have wanted to make very fresh, very intense, dark red naturally sparkling wine. Had to climb the mountain to do it. “High” in this case means over 4,500 feet elevation on the steepest granitic slopes that I have ever seen without terrassing.”

Age of Vines: 9 years

Soil: decomposed Granite

Yields: 2 tons per acre

Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and fermented whole cluster in macro-bins and flex tanks on the skins for about 3 days without temperature control and wild yeasts. The wine is pressed off the skins and continues to ferment for another 5 days or so. They set aside some frozen must at harvest time, which is used to finish the fermentation in bottle. Zero additions and the wine is bottled undisgorged.


Pie Town Cider — Back to the top

Up the road from our vineyard, is a small orchard in Julian’s apple country. It was planted by Teak, an obsessive orchardist and contains a wild menagerie of varieties. Julian is famous for apple pies. Teak’s mom of “Mom’s Pies” is the queen of Julian apple pies. We got to know Teak by taking mom’s apple waste for compost in our vineyard. We began to experiment making pét nat cider on wine lees. It was good.”

Apple Varieties: Arkansas Black, BurfordRed, Roxbury Russet, King David, Winesap, Stayman, Goldrush, Rome, Wickson, Hewe’s Virginia, Trancendent, Rome Beauty, Macoun, Baldwin, and a few other apples from Mom’s Garden Orchard

Average Age of Trees: 5 years old

Notes: The apples are pressed and recombined with grape pomace. The fermentation is aided with the addition of the lees from the BPN and otherwise ferments spontaneously. The cide is transferred to bottle before fermentation is complete to finish sparkling in the bottle. Zero additions, the cider is undisgorged.