2018 Filomena Syrah, Griffin’s Lair


Griffin’s Lair is one of the most notable vineyards in Sonoma County. Located at the base of the Petaluma Gap, it was first planted by Joan and Jim Griffin in the late 90’s. There are currently 15 acres of Pinot and 6 acres of Sryah and yet this tiny vineyard has been host to such notable brands as Spottswoode, Pax, Bedrock, Kosta Brown, Arnot-Roberts, and Wind Gap – to name a few. Now on it’s second owners and third generation, this vineyard is farmed impeccably and with high attention paid to clonal selection. The property was planted with the help of Bryan Kosgue, the former winemaker of Saintsbury and an absolute farming legend in North and Central California, and Anne Kraemer of Shake Ranch, whom members have heard me refer to as everything from a magical unicorn to a righteous earth legend.

Luke’s comments on the vineyard: “The vineyard sits about a mile north of Highway 37. The soil is clay loam, lots of Adobe clay throughout the Petaluma Valley. It is the southern piece in the Petaluma gap. That is where all the wind ends up. The gap acts as a big wind tunnel that pushes everything out down towards the San Pablo Bay. This is one of the last vineyards that gets hit with that wind. In the afternoon it starts picking up, usually around 1pm,  which is typically the hottest part of the day. The wind is so strong that it forces the vines to close their stomata, and they stop going through photosynthesis. That’s why we’re able to get a little more hang time in this vineyard. The stems lignify a little bit earlier, so you get a little more of the of the black pepper instead of the green pepper or pyrazine. The main clones that I work with are 420 and Noir.”

Well hello there.