A tasting Line-up

Press and Reviews

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Californias Cote dOr Article December 2014 cover picrose


Wineberserkers.com – Mike Grammer

“EVERYTHING anyone could ever want in a …Pinot Noir period. The best of all the California wines I tried…beating efforts like the Marcassin above and the 91 Ridge Monte Bello”. 2009 Small Vines Baranoff Pinot Noir (94) Read More


Wine & Spirits Magazine- Accounting for Taste

“A meticulous operation for sure!” Read More

Fortune.com- Fortune’s Concierge Black Book: Sonoma County, California

Can’t-Miss Winery: “One under-the-radar winery I love is Small Vines. Kathryn and Paul Sloan run this small-case production, and they do amazing pinot noir. The nice thing about Paul and Kathryn, they really make you feel at home.” Read More

Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews- A Year with Small Vines: Bud Break + Green Pruning

“Walking a Small Vines vineyard with the pair has repeatedly proven to be one of the most fascinating, educative experiences I’ve had in my visits with producers.” Read More

Press Democrat- Smaller, better in Sebastopol

“A mysterious apple tree taught Paul Sloan his first lesson in winemaking when he was 10 years old. “For whatever reason, that tree with the smallest apples had the flavors that were the most intense,” he said. Today Sloan and his wife, Kathryn, are the vintners of Small Vines, a Sebastopol brand that is based on the Burgundian model of winemaking and vineyard management. The philosophy embraces the practice of getting smaller yields from higher-density, European-styled spacing of vines.” Read More

The Somm Journal- California’s Côte d’Or by Anthony Dias Blue

Small Vines 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

“Bright and smooth with tangy acidity and creamy texture; ripe and juicy with toast and good depth.” 91 Points. Read More

Press Democrat- Wine of the week: Pinot Noir catches flavors…

Small Vines 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ★★

“This is a tasty pinot noir with complexity. It has generous fruit – raspberry and cherry – and good bones or structure. Great minerality. Impressive.” Read More

Press Democrat- Wine of the week: Scounting for the tastiest Thanksgiving high-end Sonoma County Pinot Noirs

Small Vines Wines 2012 Estate Cuvée, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ★★★ 1⁄2

“This pinot has bright cherry, with a hint of cranberry, buoyed with crisp acidity. Herbs and spice in the mix, but it leads with its vibrant fruit. Impressive.” Read More

Press Democrat- Wine of the week: White Wines

Small Vines 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ★★★ 1⁄2

“A tasty chardonnay with depth. It has bright fruit, good minerality and crisp acidity. Seamless and complex.” Read More

West of West Wine Festival- 4th Annual Tasting – August 3, 2014

“The West of West Wine Festival Grand Tasting was even better this year than last year. The new venue at The Barlow in Sebastopol was perfect for the event, and the tasting was a great size to be able to sample wines from plenty of top-notch producers without feeling overwhelmed. Once again, West of West was one of the best tastings of the year, and it did a fine job of showing what makes wines from the West Sonoma Coast special.” Read More

Two Guys From Napa- Excellent Wines from the Sonoma Coast: Favorites from the West of West Festival

“Earlier this month we discovered a number of excellent wines from the West Sonoma Coast at the West of West Grand Tasting, part of the fourth annual West of West Festival. The wines poured were made from grapes grown in areas such as Annapolis, Fort Ross/Seaview, Occidental, Freestone, Green Valley and the Sebastopol Hills. Sunday’s Grand Tasting was well orchestrated, which made it easy to access and enjoy the wines poured by the 40 participating wineries.” Read More

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar- 2012 Vintage Reviews

“Vivid ruby-red. High-pitched red berry, floral and star anise scents, complicated by subtle sassafras and vanilla qualities and building minerality. Shows excellent clarity and lift on the palate, offering sappy raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that become sweeter with air. The mineral note adds cut to the incisive finish, which is firmed by silky, fine-grained tannins.”- JR. Read More

Grape Experiences- Chicago Pinot Days 2014 ~ Standouts in an Impressive Lineup

“Admittedly ‘flying under the radar’, wines from Paul Sloan, Vigneron, were delicious. I loved the Estate Cuvée from four different estate vineyards in Sonoma County. From whole cluster grapes, the aromatics were incredible and tastes were vibrant and deep with those rich red fruits and element of spice along with caramel notes. This wine had a silky texture which was mesmerizing.” Read More

Wine Enthusiast- Small Vines 2012 Russian River Valley Estate Cuvée Pinot Noir Review

“This cuvée is put together from several estate vineyards, most of them marked by low vigor and cool ridge-top climates. The blend shows them all off well. Dark cherry and plum drive into classic earthy forest floor and sautéed mushrooms, the texture is soft and silky.” 90 Points.- Virginie Boon. Read More

Wine Enthusiast- Small Vines 2012 Baranoff Vineyard Pinot Noir Review

“Planted in 2001 above the Laguna de Santa Rosa near Sebastopol, Baranoff Vineyard is tightly spaced to mostly Calera-clone Pinot, providing the wine’s bright raspberry and cherry overtones atop a layering of earth and spice. Thickly structured, it finishes with tart cherry.” 91 Points.- Virginie Boon. Read More

Press Democrat- Wineries to watch in 2013

“The offshoot of Kathryn and Paul Sloan’s Small Vines Viticulture business, Small Vines is about growing vines in rows no wider than a plow horse, harking back to centuries-old tradition and purposefully encouraging lower yields per vine for more complex wines.” Read More

Jancis Robinson- Names to watch in 2013

“In the panel I list a few of the newer producers associated with this trend, but I am well aware that newcomers on the wine scene have been sprouting just like the bright yellow spring crop of mustard between California’s blessed vines.” Read More

IntoWine.com- “Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers”

93-Paul Sloan: As Small Vines Wines proprietor and viticulturalist based in Sebastopol and pushing compact spacing, Sloan’s philosophy is that high-density plantings focus the energy of the vine into smaller, more intensely flavorful clusters, producing better quality wine, as is evidenced by his Pinot Noirs. Striving to innovate, not duplicate, Sloan advocates water conservation, soil conservation, and utilizing more efficient machinery to reduce pollutant outputs. He utilizes close spacing of vines similar to what you find in Burgundy and Bordeaux and many grape growers are taking notice. Read More


Daily Chronicle- Uncorked: 2012 Could Be Special Vintage

“Scientific analysis provided Paul Sloan with a road map for harvest. But the grower producer of Small Vines used his gut feeling as an experienced winemaker to set a final date.” Read More

MarthaStewart.com- Small Vines Wines American Made Since 2005

“Paul Sloan worked his way from bus boy to sommelier as a very young man, passionate about wine. He was intrigued by some of the finest wines in the world-farmed differently than in the US- and after receiving his Viticulture degree, traveled to learn more. Returning to beautiful Sonoma County, CA-Husband and wife team Paul and Kathryn Sloan started growing wine grapes for themselves, other wineries and landowners as a viticulture-for-hire company specializing in organically grown high-density vineyards.” Read More

3DR- 3d Robotics Drone Helps Farmers with Precision Agriculture

“Vigneron Paul Sloan spends a lot of time walking up and down his vineyards. He walks every vineyard that he farms once week — all 14 of them. He sometimes walks them 2-3 times a week depending on how critical decisions are. Those are issues like irrigation leaks, color variation, or pests like nematodes. Sloan, a winemaker and viticulturist at Small Vines Wines, still intends to walk through his vineyards, but he now aims to walk with more intention. By using a drone manufactured by 3D Robotics, Sloan can use aerial images captured by a camera mounted to the drone which pinpoint areas in his vineyard that need more attention.” Read More

NJ.com- Small Vines, transcendent wines from Sonoma County

“Paul Sloan had a life-changing experience with pinot noir. I confess to being possessed by pinot noir, too. This is why I sampled one more set of wines before I left the Sonoma Coast pinot noir tasting held last week in Manhattan. Luckily, Small Vines Wines had the table by the door and the Sloans were pouring their newest pinot noirs.” Read More

Block122.com- Paul Sloan, Small Vines Wines

“Paul Sloan believes that the world’s best wines are grown, not made. So his vineyards are unlike any other. Sloan specializes in ultra high density plantings. Rows are just 4 feet apart, rather than 8 to 12 as is the norm in California. And grapevines are just 3 to 4 feet apart. When vines growing in soils of low to moderate vigor (such as that found in their vineyards in Sonoma) have to compete for resources, they produce fewer, smaller berries. Why is this a good thing, you ask? Because the flavor is concentrated in those berries. Hence Small Vines Wines’ slogan: The smaller the vine, the better the wine.™” Read More

Wine Spectator- 14 Exciting California Pinots

Small Vines 2010 Sonoma Coast MK Vineyard Pinot Noir

“Exhibits rich, ripe and spicy blackberry and wild berry fruit, with a touch of anise and black licorice, ending with a tight mix of mineral, dusty earth and dark berry. Drink now through 2020.” 150 cases made. 91 Points —J.L. Read More

PinotFile- Russian River Valley Gems

“A minimalist in the winery, Paul Sloan believes that naturally made wines last longer and give more drinking pleasure so only natural yeasts are used and the wines are neither fined or filtered.” Read More

Wine Spectator- 8 Exciting Sonoma Pinots

Small Vines 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

“Weaves a complex mix of ripe cherry, huckleberry, crushed rock and dried berry, gaining depth and length on the long, detailed finish. Drink now through 2021.” 263 cases made. 91 Points —J.L. Read More

The Tasting Panel Magazine- Headin’ Out West

“‘The key is no dogmatism in what we are doing’ says grower Paul Sloan of Small Vines Wines, a winery that produces flavorful and expressive wines made with meticulously farmed fruit from high-density vineyards averaging two to three pounds of grape clusters per vine. ‘To us it’s a mixture of art and science. Our goal is to be pure as possible in the vineyard. And when the fruit tastes good is when we start sending samples to the lab!'” Read More

Sunset Magazine- Top 10 Farm Vacations

“Many things in life are unearned and that’s no good. I didn’t know that yet on my first morning at Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma County, where I’ve come to hone my farming chops…After fueling up, I’m whisked down the winding two-lane country road to Barlow Lane to the Bartolomeis’ neighbor, Paul Sloan, and his Small Vines Viticulture farm.” Read More

Zachys.com- See Why Small Vines is a Great New Discover in Sonoma

“Small Vines is a very unique operation in Sonoma. Specializing in Pinot Noir, the Small Vines wine are a very good expression of Pinot Noir in Sonoma. Paul Sloan is the mastermind behind this property but his touch goes a long way beyond just his wines.” Read More

PinotFile- Small Vines Wines: Pinot Noir Welcomes Close Company

“The Sloans are very passionate and innovative winegrowers who also craft extraordinary wines. I would suggest you join their release list to guarantee access to future releases.” Read More

Tasting Panel Magazine- Publisher’s Picks

Small Vines 2008 MK Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

“Raspberries so fresh, jammy and juicy, you have to look to see if the ingredient is listed on the label. A wash of acidity and sleek satin flows across the palate, denoting one concentrated Pinot.” 93 Points. Read More

Somm Journal- Sonoma Extreme by Randy Caparoso

“Paul Sloan, grower-winemaker at the up-and-coming Small Vines, proffers this explanation: ‘In higher-elevation vineyards, cold air flows downward at night, keeping temperatures in those vineyards just above 50°F, not below it. This gives fruit the advantage of continuing the ripening process during the evening, absent photosynthesis and sugar accumulation. You have less of the stop-and-go ripening pattern of more typical, lower-elevation plantings along the coast, especially in places where temperatures frequently hit the 90s during the day and sink into the 40s at night. In places like the extreme Sonoma Coast, it never really gets too hot. But it’s the narrow diurnal swings that get you increased aroma, flavor, tannin, and color development, and you also have the option of picking grapes sooner, at lower sugar levels, without giving up any of the benefits.’” Read More

San Jose Mercury News- In recession, many still willing to pay high price for Pinot Noir

“Sonoma County was well-represented, with wines from both Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. The 2006 Small Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is an excellent example, with its bright, spicy raspberry flavors and good concentration.” Read More

PinotFile- Pinot and the city: Pinot Days 2008

“Paul and Kathryn Sloan released their first Pinot Noir with the 2005 vintage. They also are owners of Small Vines Viticulture, established in 1998 to plant and farm ultra high-density planted vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.” Read More

PinotFile- The Boys of John Ash & Co.

“Paul Sloan is a third generation Sonoman who had his epiphany while working as a wine steward at John Ash & Co. Restaurant. During a tasting of very expensive white burgundies, he tasted his first Le Montrachet. His interest in Burgundy wines was ignited that day and along with encouragement from his wife, Kathryn McGrath-Sloan who also was educated in wine, immersed himself in learning about wine.” Read More

Wine Business Monthly- Vineyard Development

“Paul Sloan of Small Vines Viticulture in Sebastopol, California is no stranger to dealing with challenging situations.” Read More

4 Days in the Russian River Valley- Andrew Gross

“We made our way around the winding, farm-lined roads to Small Vines, which turns out to be a tiny husband and wife run small-production winery with some of the best Burgundy-inspired pinots I came across…The pinots belong up there with the best of them in the valley.” Read More

Tidingsmag.com- Pours by Rosemary Mantini

“Many of Paul’s grape growing contemporaries insisted that his theories wouldn’t work in California. Turns out, he’s proving them wrong.” Read More

Wine Buisness Monthly- Vineyard Management Philosophy Says Small Vines Make Better Wines

“When husband and wife team Paul Sloan and Kathryn McGrath Sloan started their own viticulture business in late 1998, their vision was based on the philosophy that small, densely planted grapevines would produce higher quality wine. Nearly six years later, that philosophy still holds. The Sloans farm super-premium wine grapes. Their company Small Vines Viticulture Inc. works in the Russian River viticultural area, along the Sonoma Coast and in the Mayacamas range.” Read More