Despite local skepticism and only a shoestring budget, Elk Prairie Vineyard was established on Fruitland Ridge in 1992 which soon after proved to be the ultimate spot to produce pinot noir wine grapes.

Our 10 acre estate vineyard and winery is located at a 1200 ft elevation above the ancient redwoods, 4 miles off the famous "Avenue of the Giants" in southern Humboldt County. Fruitland Ridge was originally settled by Dutch immigrants who planted fruit orchards. They were able to produce high quality fruit but the area was too isolated to get that fruit easily to market and they eventually lost their lands.

Sheep ranchers soon followed and their sheep grazed on the steep hillsides. Today those hillsides are closely planted, extensively hand cultivated and dry farmed in a heavily shaled soil. Our vines produce small yields of small grapes with intense flavors and soft tannins.

Warm days and cool nights with a kiss of fog rising from the Eel River below help create the magic. Currently producing fewer than 700 cases per year, we truly handcraft our wines starting with slow fermentations in small 1/2 ton macro bins located outdoors in the shade of the winery. We take turns hand punching the must caps. The wines are handled minimally and aged in 30 % new French oak, unfiltered and unfined. Great wines truly do begin in the vineyard. Estate wines - 100% handcrafted.

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