Five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean—on a ridge due west of the town of Occidental, just down the road from where he was born and raised—Matt Taylor cultivates two absolutely pristine parcels of land. There, he and his wife Mikaela have planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on one parcel (from locally-sourced massale selections), and Loire varietals on the other, including Chenin, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis, Grolleau, Romorantin, and Menu Pineau.
The vines are dry-farmed organically and biodynamically on soils that have never seen chemicals. High-density plantings (3,600 vines per acre vs more typical 1,600) ensures stasis amongst the vines. 100% whole cluster fermentation, longer élevage in larger casks, and intentional bottle-aging are all married with the intent to be as minimalistic as possible. The parcel that grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is known as the Komorebi Vineyard because of the quality of light filtered through sequoias and pine trees. In Japanese, the word “Komorebi” means “sunlight filtered through the leaves of trees.”