Budbreak commenced earlier than normal around the last week of
February, when we did final pruning. Unfortunately, there were several
frost nights in March when temperatures dropped to the low 20s at night in the
low basins of the vineyard. All green growth was lost in those areas,
about an acre's worth overall.
By late April, shoot growth averaged 18" and the first round of
"shoot tucking" began to position the shoots within the catch wires and hold the
shoots vertical. The vineyard aisles were mowed for the second time.
The fescue had reached 4-5' in height for the second time this winter/spring.
The vine rows need to be tilled to work the covercrop into the soil and expose
the trunks for suckering.
A few instances of flowering were observed in early May and
expected to be in full swing by mid-May, although temperatures have dropped
again so that will slow things down. In fact, development all but stopped
with 10 days of foggy, drizzly weather. Not much more happened until the
end of May when temperatures rose a bit, peaking in the low 70s. At this point, there are plenty of
nice large flower clusters, but successful fruit set will determine the season's
May was unusually cool with morning fog many days. This
prolonged bloom from 10 days to over a month. Fruit set was mostly
complete by the third week of June, about 2 weeks later than normal.
However, veraison began mid-July, the same as the prior two years. Bird
netting was installed at the end of July. Harvest of the first blocks
could come in the second half of August as it did in 2013 and 2014. Yield
is forecast to be down due to less than ideal bloom and fruit set.
The first Pinot Noir harvest was 17 August, the earliest ever.
These are blocks that ripen earliest and the receiving winery wanted fruit that
was less ripe. Thus, the next harvest day didn't come until two weeks
later on 31 August. The rest of the Pinot will come out during the first
two weeks of September. The Syrah will harvest at the beginning of
October. The Pinot Noir yields are running about half normal, due to a
long cold bloom period in May when the flower fertilization was poor, resulting
in much less fruit set.
Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot
A Special Mountain
Special Mountain Pinot Noir
Muns Vineyard brushes the sky on a
ridge above Monterey Bay at 2600 feet. This is the highest Pinot Noir
vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a prime growing region for this luscious
winegrape. We enjoy the coastal climate of the mountains, with cool fog
lapping at our feet in the summer, gentle breezes and maximum sunlight --
perfect for growing premium Pinot Noir. Moderate days and cool nights,
along with diligent personal attention in our 13-acre owner-operated vineyard,
produces fruit with rich and complex flavors. We have blended Dijon clones
114, 115, 667 and 777 to provide a fruit-forward, complex and well-balanced
Minimal intervention in the winery allows our unique terroir to shine.
Barrel aging in 30% new oak for about 16 months adds soft tannins that
accentuate, but not dominate, the beautiful fruit in this special wine.
The wine drinks well now and is a delicious complement
with food, and will bottle-age for years to come. Enjoy
'heaven-in-a-bottle' from our ridge top vineyard
above the bay!
Please join us to taste our high
As we do not have a tasting
room, you can find us at the following events which are good opportunities
to taste our wines. You can then
purchase from us directly or from any of a number of
specialty wine shops that carry our wine.
Sept. 19: Grazing on the Green, Aptos
Join us for the 12th Annual Grazing on the Green Festival at Aptos Village
Park, noon - 4:00. Delicious cuisine from local chefs; and wine from over 20
local wineries - including Muns Vineyard! A benefit for the Santa Cruz
Cancer Benefit Group. For tickets and more information, see the SCCBG
"Classic", 136 cases bottled Spring 2013 and released Fall
2011 Native Yeast Fermentation! 80 cases produced,
released November 2012. $40
250 cases produced, released September 2013. $40
242 cases produced, released November 2012. $40
aromas of black cherries, red plums and roasted nuts. Delicious mid-weight
flavors of dark stone fruits with a subtle riff of spice. The tannins and
acidity are nicely balanced and this wine drinks seamlessly. Exceptional."
- Rusty Gaffney, 'The Prince of Pinot', in PinotFile
A favorite of Ken Zinns, Grape Nutz, at the 2013 Pinot Paradise Grand
"Consumers looking for a
prettier style of pinot should enjoy the 2009 Muns Estate Pinot Noir ($40),
with its crushed strawberry, spice and hint of vanilla.", Laurie Daniels,
San Jose Mercury News, April 10, 2013, in this
Gold Medal, Santa Cruz Mountains Professional
Wine Tasting, 2013
165 cases produced, released in May 2011. $40
90 points, Richard Jennings, Huffington Post
Gold Medal, Santa Cruz
Mountains Professional Wine Tasting, 2013
~ Experience the alchemy of bottle aging.
These wines are still available and drinking beautifully
150 cases produced, released in Fall 2009. $40
360 cases produced, released in June 2008. $40
Medal, Appellation America 'Best of Appellation' Award
"I was wild about the Muns Vineyard 2006 (Pinot
Noir)..." - Christina Waters, in Santa Cruz Weekly, March 23,
2011, in an article about a pre-Pinot Paradise tasting.
90 points, Richard Jennings, Huffington Post
180 cases produced, released in March 2007. $40
91 Points, Wine
Appellation America 'Best of Appellation' Award
Rosé of Pinot Noir
52 cases produced, released Summer 2015 $18
Estate Grown Syrah
2012 100 cases produced,
bottle aging. $25
2011 100 cases produced, released
October 2014. $25
2010120 cases produced, released October 2012. $25
2013 Barrel aging. $40
2012 269 cases
produced, bottled June 2014. $40
98 cases produced, bottled 25 November 2014. $25
People ask us what was going on in the vineyard and
the weather each vintage that affects the differences in flavor. This
weather conditions and other factors for each growing season. Some
seasons were wetter than others; some warmer or cooler. It is
interesting to consider how these variables have influenced the wine!
In the News
of the Week: Unwind with a Muns syrah, By Stacey Vreeken, Santa Cruz
Sentinel, July 1, 2015. "...2010 estate-grown syrah that given time to unwind,
opens up to your senses. Dark fruit, oak and earth reflect the grace and
strength of this syrah, grown on one of the tallest peaks of the Santa Cruz
Mountains overlooking Monterey Bay." See the full review
Press: Elevation shows in Muns Vineyard mountain-grown pinot, By Stacey
Vreeken, Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 9, 2015. What do winegrape growing and
ham radio have in common? This is a great story (if we do say so ourselves)
about Ed and Mary and Muns Vineyard. "When Ed Muns landed atop Loma
Prieta, it wasn’t to grow grapes — that came later — he wanted the elevation
to set up his ham radio antenna. At 2,600 feet, it was “awesome,” says the
avid operator who has set world records with his prowess at ham radio
contesting. ..." See the story
The view south toward Monterey from Muns
Vineyard, in the Summit area of the Santa
Cruz Mountains, is expansive and inspiring.
Los Gatos Weekly
cover article by
Marrianne Hamilton on 30 January 2015 about Ed's ham radio hobby.
Josie Cowden about our 2013 Rosé of
Pinot Noirin Good Times Santa Cruz:
cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine. Full of bright
aromas of strawberries, watermelon and a smidgen of apricot,
the Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir,
2013 has an enticing fragrant nose to appreciate before you get to the
first lovely taste of bright fruit flavors. Crisp and dry, it’s a
refreshing delight on a summer’s day—and it’s perfect to pair with
picnic fare and appetizers." Read the review
Good Times, July 30, 2014.
Our 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir is the featured wine in the Summer edition
of Edible Silicon Valley. Says Mary Orlin in her story,
"This beautiful strawberry colored wine is
fermented completely dry. It's a crisp, bright juicy wine. Beautiful
aromas of fresh strawberries, watermelon and a hint of apricot with
zesty acidty." Read the review
Edible Silicon Valley.
An 'outstanding Pinot Noir discovery', says Christina Waters in the
Santa Cruz Weekly. "It exudes spice - star anise, white pepper, bay
leaves - with a seductive velvety core of tangerine, cherries, and birch
bark... Each sip implies intimacy as well as infinite distance. We were
practically breathless with admiration. This is a Pinot capable of
partnering with everything from sturgeon to grilled cheese to rack of
lamb. ... wine can walk on water." Read the entire review
here in the Santa Cruz Weekly, Feb. 25, 2014.
A Dynamic Duo of Local Pinots
Santa Cruz Mountains' Silver Mountain and Muns vineyards
produce winning wines
The Santa Cruz Mountains’ Muns Vineyard does pinot
It was a charmed week in which I was able to discover not
one, but two of the best Santa Cruz Mountain appellation pinot
noirs I've ever tasted. The first was a 2008 Miller Hill
Vineyard pinot from Silver Mountain Vineyards ($38).
Made from Dijon clones 115 and 667, this gorgeous creation had
been aged in tight-grained Hungarian oak. And even though it
contains a robust 14.7% alcohol, it remains graceful and
beautifully balanced. The nose is spicy, with a minty fragrance,
and the flavors emerging range from licorice to sassafras and
black plums. This wine actually tastes intelligent. One sip and
a narrative in some unknown, yet familiar language unfolds.
Kudos to Jerold O'Brien, Tony Craig and the exceptional grapes
of Miller Hill Vineyard.
The second outstanding Pinot Noir discovery was the 2009
Muns Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Pinot Noir,
an intricate creation of Dijon clones 114,115, 667 and 777. It
exudes spice—star anise, white pepper, bay leaves—with a
seductive velvety core of tangerine, cherries, and birch bark.
The finish inclines toward geranium and terracotta, and the
tangerine expands hauntingly as the wine opens.. Each sip
implies intimacy as well as infinite distance. We were
practically breathless with admiration. And at 14.1% alcohol,
and the refining influence of new Hungarian oak, this is a Pinot
Noir capable of partnering everything from sturgeon, to grilled
cheese, to rack of lamb. Our congratulations to winemaker Ed
Muns for proving that a $40 wine can walk
on water. Available at VinoCruz.
And in her blog (here)
on Feb. 21, Christina Waters raves: "From
Muns Vineyard comes a spectacular example of Santa Cruz Mountains
Estate Pinot Noir is everything you could want in a brilliantly balanced
wine. From the nose of white pepper, roses, and licorice, straight into
an expanding heart of tangerine, bay leaves and a long, slow finish of
black cherries, this is a gorgeous pinot noir. Its luscious 100% pinot
noir grape composition has been coaxed into elegant nuance by aging in
Hungarian oak, and at a highly desireable 14.1% alcohol it is light
enough to partner almost anything, yet won’t get in the way of simply
kicking back and enjoying. This could be one of the top five
pinot noirs I’ve ever tasted, and one that justifies our pride
in what the SCMtn appellation can produce." Thank you,
Muns Vineyard is included in a story by Donna Jones in
the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Feb. 14, 2014,
"Santa Cruz Mountains winegrowers expect smaller 2014 harvest after 2013
bumper crop." This is about the lack of water over the previous
year, and the unseasonably warm Spring weather starting out 2014. See
the full article
here. (This was also printed in the San Jose Mercury News).
"Muns is... already earning
praise for its elegant and distinctive wine."
This from Mary Orlin In
her story in
Palate Press, "A Pinot Paradise in the Santa Cruz Mountains"
, Nov. 26, 2013."The wines show great aging
potential, as in the 2006 Pinot, which is still fresh, has a beautiful
floral nose (rose, violet) and nice mineral notes, something I taste in
all the Muns wines."
Mountains winemakers can thank Mother Nature for this year’s bountiful
By Shannon Burkey,
San Jose Mercury News
and Los Gatos Weekly Times, November 6, 2013.
"This harvest has just been really fabulous," Mary Lindsay said.
"Everybody is really jazzed and is feeling that this has been an
extraordinary year in so many ways." Read all about it in this
Mary gave an exclusive report to
Wines & Vines magazine about the 2013 harvest in this article,
Coastal Wine Harvest is Early and
BoomingSanta CruzMountains growers enjoy spectacular 2013
season,by Jane Firstenfeld, Oct. 9,
2013. Following what they
are calling a “phenomenal growing season,” most wine grape growers in
the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA just south of San Francisco are “totally
jazzed about this year’s vintage,” according to Mary Lindsay, co-owner
of 300-case Muns Vineyard in Los Gatos, Calif., and president of the
Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains (VASCM). Read
the article in this
Mary and Ed are interviewed by the
Santa Cruz Sentinel in an article about the impending 2013 harvest,
published on the front page of the paper Saturday, August 17, 2013:
"Early, bountiful harvests anticipated in Santa Cruz Mountains
vineyards", by Donna Jones. "Vineyards
are only weeks away from what's looking like a bountiful harvest. Last
year was good. This year is even better." See a PDF of the article
aromas of black cherries, red plums and roasted nuts. Delicious
mid-weight flavors of dark stone fruits with a subtle riff of spice. The
tannins and acidity are nicely balanced and this wine drinks seamlessly.
Exceptional." - Rusty Gaffney, 'The Prince of Pinot', about the
2009 Muns Vineyard Pinot Noir in PinotFile. See the full review from
Pinot Paradise here.
looking for a prettier style of pinot should enjoy the 2009 Muns Estate
Pinot Noir ($40), with its crushed strawberry, spice and hint of
vanilla.", Laurie Daniels, San Jose Mercury News, April 10, 2013,
in this article about Pinot
The 2009 Muns Vineyard Pinot Noir was a favorite of the
Grape Nutz team, Ken Zinns and Al Osterheld, at the 2013 Pinot Paradise
Grand Cruz tasting.
Muns 2009 Pinot Noir, Estate, Santa Cruz
Mountains. Medium-light color, this showed up front black
cherry and plum aromas along with earth, fresh herbs, and notes of
baking spice. Medium-light bodied, the tannins were noticeable but
Muns 2011 Pinot Noir, “Native Yeast,” Estate, Santa
Cruz Mountains. Fermented with native yeast and aged in neutral
oak. Medium-light ruby, displaying more earth and herb components with
somewhat primary cherry fruit in support. Fairly light but lively on the
palate with moderate tannins, this still needs time to develop.
Muns 2008 Pinot Noir, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Similar color to the first two wines, displaying ripe black cherry, earth, and a
touches of spice and vanilla on the nose. Richer mouthfeel with refined tannins.
At 2,600-foot elevation, Muns is the highest Pinot vineyard in the area, planted
from 1998-2005 with 114, 115, 667, and 777 clones. Muns uses mostly Hungarian
oak barrels – I thought they worked better with these wines than some of the
others at the event.
is interviewed by
Western Farm Press about the 2012 vintage. Wine grape growers in the Santa
Cruz mountains are very optimistic about this year’s crop. Veteran Pinot
Noir grower Ed Muns says, “Everyone around here is reporting great fruit and
a prolific set. ... This could be one the best harvests in this region in 15
to 20 years.” Greg Northcutt,
July 25, 2012.
from Muns Vineyard and an interview with Mary in this
Santa Cruz Sentinel
article on the 2012 harvest: On this harvest moon: Grape picking
begins in what is expected to be great year for wine, Santa Cruz
Sentinel, Sept. 19, 2012.
"Everybody's looking forward to
making some great wine from this vintage," Mary said. We're really pretty
excited about it."
Our 2007 Pinot Noir is featured by
Josie Cowden in
Good Times who finds it to be "one gorgeous Pinot," and "chock-full of
beautiful fruit and bursting with flavors of caramel, vanilla, earth and
90 points for Muns Vineyard's 2006 and 2008 Pinot Noirs from
Richard Jennings, wine writer and reviewer for the Huffington Post, in a
review of Pinot Paradise on his blog, rjonwine.com:
2008 Muns Vineyard
– USA, California, San Francisco Bay,
Santa Cruz Mountains: Medium cherry red color; floral, tart
strawberry, tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart strawberry, strawberry
syrup palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points (clones
114, 115, 667 and 777) (90 pts.)
2006 Muns Vineyard
– USA, California, San Francisco Bay,
Santa Cruz Mountains Bricking medium red color with pale
meniscus; mature, ripe cherry, baked cherry, loam nose; light-medium
bodied, loam, tart cherry, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish (30%
new Hungarian oak) (90 pts.)
"I was wild about the Muns Vineyard 2006 (Pinot Noir)..." -
Christina Waters, in Santa Cruz Weekly, March 23, 2011, in an article about
a pre-Pinot Paradise tasting.
Vineyard's 2008 Syrah is the featured 'Sip
of the Week' in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/23/11.
Muns Vineyard's 2007 Pinot Noir is the featured 'Sip
of the Week' in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/6/10. "Because Pinot Noir
and fall go together. Think Thanksgiving!
Muns Vineyard's Rosé of Pinot
Noir is featured
in the Good Times Santa Cruz, March 3, 2010.
Rosé is becoming one of reviewer Josie Cowden's favorite wines, and she
really likes the Muns Vineyard:
Vineyard) Rosé of Pinot Noir has everything going for it— it’s light and
fresh and not overly sweet. Dry and crisp, this fragrant Rosé has gorgeous
flavors of cherry, watermelon and cinnamon spice. As the warmer weather
comes around, this would be a perfect wine to take on a picnic, or to have
with your spring and summer greens."
Try it! We think you will really like this delicious Rosé.
Muns Vineyard Pinots are featured in a
story in the Santa Cruz
Sentinel, with recipes from local vintners - including Mary's now
famous recipe for pan-roasted Brussels sprouts, that pairs deliciously with
our 2004 and 2005 Pinot Noirs.
Ham Radio Creates a Vineyard! - Ed is quoted in the 17 October
2009 article in the Los Gatos Weekly-Times,
Radio Operators on Front Lines During Loma Prieta Quake". Although
Ed wasn't one of the active hams helping with that local disaster, the
article notes that the property that eventually became the current Muns
Vineyard was selected for ham radio purposes by Ed. The first day of
land clearing for the home occurred on 17 October, 1989, the day of the
destructive Loma Prieta Earthquake, whose epicenter was just five miles
south of the property.
Muns Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 12, 2009), in
an article about the 2009 harvest. It includes a number of photos of
harvest at Muns Vineyard.
Muns Vineyard in the San Jose Mercury News. Laurie Daniel,
about Pinot Paradise:
"The 2006 Muns Vineyard Pinot Noir ($40) is dark and spicy, with black
cherry, clove, cola, a hint of sage and firm structure."
Rusty Gaffney, the "Prince of Pinot", about the 2005 Pinot Noir from
Muns Vineyard in his PinotFiles newsletter:
"The 2005 vintage in the Santa Cruz Mountains was on
the 'weighty' side and this wine shows the bold structure of the
vintage. Again, the aromatics are enchanting, featuring bright
cherries, spices and ginger. The velvety texture alone is
worth the price of admission. Perfectly balanced and
"I visited and walked Ed's vineyard
and I found it to be one of the more pristine vineyards in the Santa
Cruz Mountains. No question in my mind that this vineyard will
be producing some remarkable Pinot Noirs for many years to come."
Muns Vineyard in the March 15, 2008 issue of the Prince of
Pinot's PinotFile newsletter. The Prince reviews our 2004,
2005, 2006 and as yet unreleased 2007 Pinots. About the 2007, the Prince
"A consistent Muns Vineyard style
is beginning to evolve with this wine which shows similarities in structure
and character to the 2006 vintage. This wine exhibits admirable complexity
with nicely spiced red and black fruits, herbs, forest floor and mocha.
There are still tannins to shed, but these are ripe and fine and will
integrate nicely with a little more bottle age. The acidity is spot on. This
should prove to be a very stellar wine.
Muns Vineyard awarded Best of Appellation Gold Medals for
our 2004, 2005 and 2006 Pinot Noirs from
grow premium Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir with
exquisite attention to quality so as to produce the very finest wine. The
wines we produce reflect our high standards in the vineyard, as well as one
of the best locations for growing Pinot Noir in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a
prime growing region for this luscious winegrape. The first
commercial vintage was in 2003 based on a half-ton harvest. Soquel
Vineyards blended half of the wine into a Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir and
the other half was bottled under the Muns Vineyard label. Grape tonnage
increased rapidly in succeeding years:
2004: About four tons were harvested from four acres
and again the wine was produced by Soquel Vineyards. 125 cases were
produced as a Muns Vineyard designate under the Soquel Vineyards label and
another 125 cases under the Muns Vineyard label.
2005: Almost twelve tons were harvested from six acres
with five tons going into the Soquel Vineyards label as a Muns Vineyard
designated wine. The other seven tons went into a Muns Vineyard designate
wine on three labels produced by Silver Mountain Vineyards: Silver Mountain
Vineyards, Sonnet Wine Cellars and Muns Vineyard. Tony Craig, of Dave
Bruce fame, made these three wines.
2006: Nearly 24 tons were harvested from seven acres with
10 tons going to Soquel Vineyards and 14 tons crushed at Silver Mountain
Vineyards for the same three labels as in 2005. This was an abnormally
large yield, as it was for many California vineyards, due to abundant winter
rains that produced record cluster sizes.
2007: Fruit set this season was been superb, but nature
presented some challenges. Two nights in April produced 25 degree
temperatures a large low area of the vineyard where over a acre of fruit and
even some vines were lost. Later in the season, dehydration further
reduced the crop. Over 16 tons were harvested on 4-6 September all going
to Silver Mountain Vineyards for production under three labels: their own,
Sonnet Wine Cellars and Muns Vineyard.
2008: This is the first year all vineyard blocks are
producing--twelve acres of Pinot Noir and one acre of Syrah. Pinot Noir
was harvested from 29 August to 2 September, our earliest. The yield is
our lowest ever at around 1.5 ton/acre. Vineyards across the state are
reporting much lower cluster weights, so while it looks like there is a lot of
fruit, there really isn't. 3 tons of Syrah was harvested the third week of
2009: This vintage was like 2006 in terms of yield.
With the entire vineyard now producing, we harvested 36+ tons of Pinot Noir and
2 tons of Syrah. We had lots of winter rain and a somewhat cooler growing
season. This resulted in first irrigation in August, compared to April in
2008 following a drought winter. Harvest was the latest ever for this
vineyard, during the third week of September for the Pinot Noir and the first
week of October for the Syrah.
2010: The winter leading into this season was even
wetter than 2009, but the rain came in measured amounts so there was minimal
erosion and maximum absorption into the soil. Bud break was delayed due to
consistently cool spring temperatures and no frost periods occurred after bud
break, a first for this vineyard in ten years! The summer continued to be
relatively cooler than normal, so the season extended to our longest yet.
On 17 September we harvested 4 tons of clone 115 for sparkling Pinot Noir at 19
Brix. On 1 October we harvested 6 tons of all four clones for our estate
Pinot Noir at 25 Brix. We felt the rest of the vineyard (30+ tons) could
still use some more hang time to ripen the flavors even more, so we postponed
harvest for another week or two. We ultimately harvested 49 tons of Pinot
Noir by the end of October and after three rains. On 3 Novembe we
harvested 4.2 tons of Syrah.
2011: Yet another winter with lots of rain that has
extended into early June. This cool spring has stalled growth with shoots
just 12-18" and bloom not started. This is probably good because heavy
rains can disturb bloom and reduce fruit set. The foilage is lime-green in
color, indicating the inability of the vines to take up nutrients in cool
temperatures (50-60 degrees F). At this point we are 2-3 weeks behind
normal development and looking for warmer weather to allow the vines to take off
for the season. The season finished out relatively cool and we harvested
only 19 tons of Pinot Noir on 8-10 October. The cluster weights were
deceptively light so yield was about half expected. 3.5 tons of Syrah were
harvested on 29 October.
2012: Bud break was the latest ever in late April, but bloom and
fruit set caught up to our typical season. Assuming the season continued
"typically", we expected to harvest the Pinot in mid-September and the Syrah in
early October. There were a lot of Pinot Noir clusters and fruit-thinning
is needed to balance the crop with the vegetative growth. 45.1 tons of
Pinot Noir were harvested from 10-24 September as the blocks each reached
optimum ripeness and 3.2 tons of Syrah were harvested on 1 October.