The Roederer Estate winery is nestled in Mendocino County’s cool, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley. As Champagne Louis Roederer’s project in California, Quartet builds on centuries of fine winemaking tradition and has established a reputation as one of California’s premier sparkling wines.
The Vineyard – A Family Story
Jean-Claude Rouzaud, former president of Champagne Louis Roederer and sixth generation descendant of the founder, selected the 235 hectare Anderson Valley vineyard and winery site in 1982. He believed that estate-owned vineyards were essential to ensure top quality wine, and had searched California for ideal growing conditions for several years. Since 1982, the family has gradually added new vineyards to the Estate and now farms 620 acres in the Anderson Valley AVA.
Roederer Estate Quartet’s ability to have full control over all farming decisions is fairly unique. From their in-depth knowledge of the soil, to their precise gathering of weather information, the Estate uses a blend of science and centuries of experience to take their wines to the next level.
The Anderson Valley offers the cool climate and well-drained soils that are ideally suited to the Louis Roederer winemaking style. The region’s proximity to the ocean gives rise to a gentle cycle of warm days and cool nights, allowing grapes to mature slowly on the vine and develop full varietal character. To achieve an optimum balance of acids and sugars in the estate’s grapes, Rouzaud introduced an ‘open lyre’ trellis system for training the vines on moveable wires, providing more exposure to sunlight than traditional trellising methods.
Roederer Estate Quartet is meticulous about all of its farming and winemaking decisions. For example, various trellis systems or high-density plantations are used to match local site characteristics. While modern equipment is used, there is a high level of reliance on skilled, manual techniques, such as pruning, where human touch and experience elevates the quality of the Estate’s fruit. Closer to harvest, the team carefully tracks grape maturity to achieve perfect balance. Once picked, the winery’s proximity to the vineyards ensures a quick pressing, eliminating the need for transport to a remote facility and reducing the Estate’s carbon footprint.
There are four distinct vineyards on the estate – hence the name Quartet – from which all the grapes are sourced.
Arnaud Weyrich began his career at Roederer Estate as an intern after graduating in 1993 from the prestigious Montpellier school, ‘Ecole Supérieure d’Oenologie’. With a strong background in both viticulture and enology, Arnaud has had a long relationship with Champagne Louis Roederer working previously as Chief Technical Officer in charge of development in Reims and today, as Winemaker and V.P. Production in California. The blending team has a total of 140 vintages of experience between them.
Land stewardship is integral to Roederer Estate Quartet’s values and long-term vision. They protect their top soil and the Navarro River from vineyard sediment by practicing responsible farming, which earned us a Fish Friendly Certification for 100% of the Estate.
Our commitment to sustainable farming methods is not limited to the 100 acres of vineyards that are farmed organically. They make compost from winery pomace and local sheep manure, which promotes healthy soils and vineyard resiliency. They also reclaim the winery’s wash waters and reuse them for irrigation. Furthermore, they apply biodynamic preparations to select vineyards — a natural way to keep balanced energy in the soil and vines. In the winter, local sheep herds graze in the vineyards, helping to keep weed growth under control while providing the soil with essential nutrients.
All the grapes are grown on the Estate: each year, the winemaker selects a portion of the best wines for aging in large French oak casks (1,200 to 1,800 gallons each). Aged on average 4 years, wines from this reserve cellar are added to the blend, creating a multi-vintage cuvée in the traditional Roederer style, known for its body, finesse and depth of flavour.
The blend comprises 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir – the opposite proportions from those used in Champagne Louis Roederer’s Brut Premier. Only the cuvée (first pressing of 545 litres/ton) is used, gently pressed from the pulp with minimal skin contact. Fermentation at 18°C in high-grade stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation ensures the wine ages well and retains the fresh Champagne Louis Roederer style, even after a minimum of two years on its lees.