Arista Winery was founded by the McWilliams family in 2002 with a mission to create the most elegant expression of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The core principle of the winemaking approach at Arista is the capture and expression of the character and potential of the vineyard. Every Arista Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is fermented using only the unique mix of naturally occurring yeast populations that reside in each of our vineyards and arrive at the winery on the grapes on the day of harvest. The resulting fermentations are gentle, gradual, cool and quite slow, but result in wines that have incredible complexity, unique personalities and are exquisitely expressive of their sites.
The Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay comes from the northern edge of the Green Valley, a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. The location of this vineyard is ideal for growing Chardonnay due to the cooling influence of coastal fog. This dry farmed vineyard was planted in 1980 to the Wente Selection of Chardonnay, a highly prized selection of Chardonnay know for its small, loose clusters and intensely flavored grapes. The 30+ year old vines are rare in the Russian River Valley and produce lower yields per acre. What’s lost in tonnage is more than compensated for in flavor and quality as is evidenced through the wines produced year after year. The combination of site and vine age represent a truly unique and distinct vineyard that we are proud to work with.