Eden Rift debut wines getting accolades

Local winery is getting good reviews on its first releases.
Pillsbury cu ER.jpg
Grapevines in flower.jpg
Tasting Room from road.jpg

San Benito County’s historic vineyard, now named Eden Rift, is getting positive feedback on their new releases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Specially noted is the Zinfandel old vine from the estate’s Dickinson Block, planted in 1906.

In an exclusive interview with BenitoLink in 2017, new owner Christian Pillsbury said he planned to take the vineyard back to its more traditional French style.

Eden Rift, a popular stop on the San Benito Wine Trail is located in the Cienega Valley AVA.

The beautiful location has been planted with vines since 1849. According to a news release from the Eden Rift, William Kelley of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate recently tasted through the debut releases, noting that “…Eden Rift is an exciting new project in the Cienega Valley. Winemaker Cory Waller, whose resumé includes stints with Tony Soter and Josh Bergström, has eked an excellent inaugural vintage from this interesting site, which benefits from calcareous soils rare in California that are especially propitious for the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay."

Said Kelley: "Waller assures me that the best is yet to come, but these debut releases are already well worth the attention of consumers looking for wines that are as elegant as they are characterful.”

Kelley scored the Eden Rift wines:

  • Estate Chardonnay              92 points
  • Terraces Chardonnay          93 points
  • Estate Pinot Noir                  93 points
  • Reserve Pinot Noir               94 points
  • Dickinson Block Zinfandel    93 points

The news releases announces, “For the first time in its history, the estate’s Dickinson House is open to the public for wine tasting”. The parlor in the Dickinson House is the estate’s new tasting room and is open Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

Walter Burley Griffin, a devotee of the Prairie School, designed the beautiful home built in 1906. He was said to be a close associate of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is a true representation of Prairie School architecture from the early 20th century. The Prairie School advocated for “organic architecture”; that a structure should look as if it grew organically from the ground upon which it was built.

For more information visit the Eden Rift website.

See other related BenitoLink articles on Eden Rift:

A New Era for Pietra Santa

Pillsbury Finds His Eden at Former Pietra Santa

hits 2

Leslie David

Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She was with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started as a small market news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.