The guiding principle behind the wines of Davis Bynum has always been and will forever be, to let the land speak, specifically the terroir of Russian River Valley. The cool maritime conditions of the region are ideally suited for early ripening Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and finding excellent vineyards within this world-class region continues to drive the style of Bynum wines. We determined long ago that our wines should be shaped by the land from which they come.
Nature takes the lead role and our viticultural and winemaking practices fall in line. We take into account what the vineyard provides us and carefully apply our hand to coax quality with balanced flavor and textural elements. All of the grapes are picked into half-ton macro bins during the early and coolest part of the day. The grapes are then delivered to the winery where they are sorted and carefully hand-guided through vinification. The end result is a collection of wines that clearly herald from Russian River Valley.
Davis Bynum believes the techniques and technicalities of winemaking should be mastered to the extent that they take a backseat to instinct and intuition. With an understanding of the Russian River Valley terroir based in four decades producing wine from the land, an incredible reservoir of knowledge allows Davis Bynum to produce a wine created with emotion and soul at the forefront -- girded by an innate understanding of this terroir’s complexity.
Art of Simplicity
Davis Bynum believes there is an art to simplicity. Our philosophy of minimalist viticulture is the product of deep respect and understanding of the Russian River Valley’s unique terroir, as well as an acknowledgement that the best wines – like the best meals – happen when the ingredients are in their prime, and handled with utmost care.
Davis Bynum believes in the credo of “letting the wine make itself.”
During each decision in the winemaking process, the Bynum team asks whether a particular tool or technique will enhance the natural beauty of the terroir. Any mechanisms that deviate from this philosophy are discarded. What’s left is an extraordinarily careful process of innovation dedicated to showcasing the singular beauty of this region.
The eastern parts of Russian River Valley, nearing Highway 101, tend to be slightly warmer than the very cool western reaches. While maintaining ample crispness due to balanced acidity, this added warmth pushes the flavor profile toward tropical and the mouth-feel to a texture that is lush, with a clean lingering finish.
Davis Bynum Pinot Noir is driven by vineyard sites. True to long-established form, it remains a very food-friendly wine, with bright fruit aromas and flavors, a silky texture and a very long finish. The Russian River Valley blend takes a series of exceptional vineyards and blends them together to create a classic wine that captures all the regional traits. Our offerings encapsulate the individual terroir of each site, some of the best sites for Pinot Noir anywhere.
When a bottle of wine bears the Bynum name, it bears significance: from the vineyard to the bottle, every aspect of the winemaking process has been done on-site, ensuring a truly genuine expression of the region’s terroir every year.
At Davis Bynum, the wine harvesting process begins before the slightest hint of sunrise in the horizon. Picking grapes in the middle of the night has myriad benefits: cooler temperatures mean happier workers, and the grapes themselves have stable sugar levels in the evening, resulting in less “surprises” for the winemakers during fermentation. Lastly, harvesting grapes when they are already cool means less effort chilling them before they are crushed, saving energy costs and allowing Davis Bynum to be even more eco-friendly.
The use of wild yeast during fermentation is a bit of a gamble. Winemakers know this more natural approach takes away some level of control and predictability. There is always risk associated with natural fermentation -- but Davis Bynum finds the risk associated with this less interventionist method worth taking. But when native fermentation works well, it makes for a wine with greater complexity and results in a more interesting, genuine expression of the terroir.
In keeping with Bynum’s “hands-off” winemaking philosophy, Davis Bynum wines are unfiltered, bottled along with their natural sediments, yeast and bacteria. We separate the finished product from these natural elements that cloud the wine with a careful racking process. But rather than filter the wine any further using less natural methods, we prefer to accept the slight haze that sometimes comes with an unfiltered product. Over the years, Davis Bynum has found this natural, old-world style of winemaking yields a more complex, aromatic, flavorful wine with more nuanced characteristics than would otherwise be seen in the bottle.