Rod Berglund, a lifelong Sonoma County resident, began his winemaking career in 1979 at La Crema Vinera (predecessor to La Crema). That same year he produced his first Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Over the years he has made Pinot from many grape growing areas but firmly believes that the Russian River Valley is without peer in the new world for the potential to consistently produce world class Pinot Noir.
A committed terroirist, he believes that wine's first duty is to express a sense of place. In 1987 he joined Joe Swan to help him finish the harvest. The following year he took over the winemaking at Joseph Swan Vineyards and continues to follow in the footsteps of one of California's Pinot pioneers.
The wine is typically floral and red fruited but this year it is darker and denser, verging on dark cherries and berries. It is also richer and denser in the mouth with more tannin than we usually see, a characteristic that all of our 2016's seem to have in common. Of all of the Saralee's pinot noirs to date, this is probably the most unctuous to date.