A Winery Above The Clouds
Gandona on Pritchard Hill
Gandona was established in 2010 and the first thing to note about Gandona is that it is atop the exceptionally steep Pritchard Hill. You can't visit unless you have a vehicle suited for a long steep climb and a driver with a certain amount of confidence. Steep hills and high altitudes often make exceptional wines.
Charles Pritchard planted vines along this hillside in 1870. Bob Long purchased it in 1966 and established Long Vineyards in 1977. Manuel Pires purchased the property and built his winery in 2010. Manuel grew up largely on his grandfather's farm in Portugal and the winery pays homage to him in many ways. The wines are hand-harvested. You can't get a picking machine to most of the vineyards anyway. This results in a tremendous level of quality control that starts in the picking. They are then fermented in concrete and transferred to oak barrels for aging. Manuel purchases no grapes. Everything in the bottle is from the estate. The winemaker is the extremely talented Philippe Melka. The resulting wines are some of the best in California.
Manuel himself will make the trip to New Jersey to host Catherine Lombardi’s and Stage Left Steak’s FIRST IN-PERSON WINEMAKER DINNER, in 18 months!
Lobster Plantain Nachos with Ginger and Trout Caviar 2017 Encosta Chardonnay
Duck and Cipollini Onion Tart 2016 Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon
Wagyu Strip with Mushrooms Four Ways 2016 Gandona Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Gandona Cabernet Sauvignon