Central Coast AVA
Crafting a handful of stunning, highly rated wines from some of the region's finest and most respected vineyards
In the highly competitive duel for supremacy within the core of Pinot Noir producers, one vintner might just have something of an edge over his competitors. Côtière Wines' owner Kevin Law, is such a person.
Law is the holder of a degree in atmospheric sciences with an emphasis on Remote Sensing and Meteorology from the University of California Santa Barbara, as well as a keen interest in geology that he has studied for many years.
"The two actually go hand in hand," informed Law during a recent interview. "With the Pinot Noir community's great emphasis on terroir-driven fruit, it's quite easy to see where the rains and wind play a major role in the soil's ability to handle the rootstock. There simply isn't a more transparent varietal that speaks of site or terroir than the almighty Pinot Noir."
Kevin Law became interested in wine while attending college. He managed a part-time job in an upscale wine shop where he was exposed to numerous wines from around the world. He decided on a wine industry career and began working for various wineries including Tantara Winery, where he started as a cellar worker and worked his way into the assistant winemaker position.
After seven years, Kevin Law decided it was time to try it on his own and Côtière Wines saw its first light of day (the winery was originally named Luminesce). It was 2006 and Law bought the fruit from Laetitia Vineyard that was located in Arroyo Grande Valley. He tried dealing with a number of varietals, but eventually was drawn to Pinot Noir.
"In 2010, I decided to truly devote myself to my brand by doing acreage contracts instead of tonnage," Law went on. "This locked down exact rows for my use and also the blocks and clones used. I was also able to adjust the farming by dropping fruit to intensify flavors."
A grand total of 70 cases of the first Côtière Wines release have mushroomed into around 2,000 cases of annual production. A number of spectacular vineyards have been added to the Côtière Wines portfolio (including Buttonwood, Talley Rincon, Riverbench, Presqu'ile, La Encantada, Thompson, and Lewelling Ranch), each one with distinctive characteristics. Law's current portfolio includes Sémillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kevin Law doesn't expect to increase his production since he is his company's only employee. He feels that he can handle his present production level and continue producing extraordinary Pinot Noirs in the process.
He is totally dedicated to his adopted profession and has the high scores and medals to prove his commitment.
He summed it all thusly, "I love working with Pinot Noir. It comes with the rewards of choosing correct picking days, nurturing it along, and watching those flavors and aromatics develop beyond the barrel and a decade or more in bottle."