"Wine Mic Monday" is a VAULT29 series based on an "open mic concept" where wineries take over our blog to write about aspects unique to them and their wines. Hot on the heels of a Best of Class designation for their 2011 Pinot Noir and a Gold for their 2012 Chardonnay in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2015, we welcome Teac Mor Vineyards to take over our mic. Teac Mor Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery in the Russian River Valley appellation of Sonoma County. They produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their estate grown grapes. 

"Teac Mor" by Christine Moore

In 1998, we planted 30 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. By 2001, we were selling those grapes.  We chose as the name of the vineyard Teac Mor, which means “big house” in Gaelic. The name pays homage to our father’s childhood home in Ireland, which was the only two-story structure in his small village of Leitra, Galway.

Teac Mor Viineyards | VAULT29

My brother Steve cares for our vineyard now, and he’s passionate about what he does. He farms biodynamically, and feels deeply connected both to the land and to our vines. “I consider the vines my children and I want them to thrive long after I’m gone,” he said. 

Teac Mor Harvest | VAULT29

Doing that requires that Steve take a holistic approach to farming. “What I do this year will impact future harvests, and I’m always thinking several years ahead.”

An olive orchard and large vegetable garden on the vineyard promote a healthy ecosystem by attracting beneficial insects. “I believe the vines are not only alive, but aware of their environment. I think that a healthy vineyard will result in better wine.”

Steve inspects his vines daily and adjusts his farming techniques based on what the vines call for. “There are five types of soil on this site alone,” he said. “To be successful, I need to see the distinctive needs of each plant.”

While harvest varies from year to year, we consistently sell the majority of our grapes to other producers - Duckhorn, Hale Mary, Bluxome Street, to name a few. In 2009, we began bottling our own wines. We produce roughly 1,000 cases each year, or approximately 600 cases of Pinot Noir and 400 cases of Chardonnay. When it comes to wine making, we adhere to a minimalist philosophy, seeking to preserve the essence of the fruit.

For our Pinot Noir, we use our Clone 777 and Pomard grapes. We allow the wines to take their time through fermentation, keeping fermentation temperatures relatively cool.

Teac Mor Barrels | VAULT29

After fermentation our Pinot Noir wines are laid to rest in the highest quality French oak barrels. The Pinot Noir wines are not repeatedly racked or aerated. Instead, we allow them to lay peacefully in their barrels with their lees. This gentle approach produces Pinot Noir wines that are beautifully complex with subtle oak, exotic spice and a long lasting finish.

Our Chardonnay wines are made with both Clones 96 and 4. We blend the two clones, working to avoid masking the fruit’s natural beauty with heavy oak or secondary fermentations.

We use a stainless-steel fermentation process, age the wine with their lees and bottle them relatively quickly to preserve freshness, acidity and balance. The result is a bright and clean Chardonnay with refreshing acidity and defining minerality. 

People often ask us about the meaning of our label. We call our golden angel, Teaca (pronounced Teesha). She is our symbol of elegance and beauty. We believe you’ll find elegance and beauty inside our bottles too.

"Like" Teac Mor on Facebook & "Follow" them on Twitter @TeacMor.

Teac Mor Vineyards 4489 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa | www.TeacMor.com                                    Vineyard Contact, Steve: (707) 849-5510 | Media Contact, Christine: (415) 205-8095 | teac@teacmor.com 

Be sure to view and add your Teac Mor experiences in the VAULT29 app!