Since the release of its first highly praised 1987 Carneros Chardonnay, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards has strived to create balanced and lush wines that reflect the elegant depth of their cool-climate origins. This commitment has grown from an early emphasis on selecting grapes from top growers in the acclaimed Sonoma Coast region to include the development of MacRostie’s own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard on the borderlands between Carneros and the Sonoma Coast.
MacRostie Winery and Vineyards was founded by winemaker Steve MacRostie in 1987. As a believer in the unique character of Sonoma Coast fruit, and an innovative winemaker pioneering a more fresh and sophisticated style of Chardonnay, Steve dedicated himself to crafting wines embodying an authentic sense of place. To do so, he began working closely with several small, independent vineyards to ensure continuous access to the finest grapes. At the same time, Steve worked to champion quality in the region, both in the vineyards and the winery.
MacRostie’s Chardonnays were soon widely hailed for their unique balance of cool-climate structure and bright Carneros fruit. In the years following the release of MacRostie’s inaugural 1987 Carneros Chardonnay, Steve became excited about the idea of adding a few select reds to his small portfolio. In 1992, realizing the vast potential for producing stunning, age-worthy Pinot Noirs from Carneros fruit, Steve made MacRostie’s first Carneros Pinot Noir. Though built on a reputation for producing benchmark Chardonnays, the winery quickly developed a devoted following for its elegantly voluptuous Pinot Noirs.
Throughout the 1990s, Steve continued to refine quality, both in the winery, and in the vineyards, while at the same time maintaining MacRostie’s commitment to fair pricing, fair and ethical business practices, and the environment. During this period, Steve discovered an amazing mountainside ranch possessing spartan volcanic soils over fractured andesite, located in the western borderlands of Carneros. Situated partly in the Sonoma Coast appellation, this ranch enjoyed a unique microclimate that Steve believed would be ideally suited to producing profound Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. In 1997, inspired by a desire to cultivate his own great piece of land, Steve’s adventurous spirit led him to enter into a partnership with Nancy and Tony Lilly to develop Wildcat Mountain Vineyard from this unplanted pastureland. That same year, MacRostie also moved its winery to a facility south of Sonoma.
Since founding Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Steve has worked to meticulously develop this world-class site in two careful rounds of planting that have culminated in 58 total acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. These vines are cultivated using the same earth-friendly, sustainable farming practices that Steve requests from his partner vineyards. As the vineyard has evolved, and the vines have matured, the fruit from Wildcat has continued to develop its beautiful signature flavors, adding layers of depth and nuance. Though active in every aspect of the winery, including the blending process, in recent years Steve has focused more and more of his energies to the care of Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, while also continuing to work closely with MacRostie’s esteemed growers.