2013 Pey-Marin Vineyards Riesling "The Shell Mound", Marin County

Pey-Marin Vineyards Riesling

"The benchmark Riesling in the state."
– San Francisco Magazine

• A refreshingly crisp and dry Riesling organically grown on the chilly western coast of Marin County
• Rare "Neustadt" clone offers a bright, steely and very delicate aromatic and flavor profile at modest alcohol
• Winemaking and coastal site showcases purity of well-drained, mature site and unique clonal provenance

"Our aim is to showcase our Marin County vineyards soils and uniquely cool climate attributes by crafting Riesling which displays exemplary steeliness and freshness." 

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"California's consistently most successful Riesling."
- Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine, October 2014

"The best Riesling in northern California."
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat, June 2013

"Light yellow-gold. Pear skin and dried citrus fruits on the fragrant nose. Light-bodied and dry, with good energy to its bitter lemon and pear flavors. Closes on a firm note. with refreshing bitterness and good cut, leaving spice and floral notes behind."
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May 2012

"From the exceptionally chilly coast of Marin comes this brisk and crisp Riesling. Pey-Marin’s isn’t made in the style of any other Riesling in California – or, really, in the world. It has the light, sharp, citrusy punch of German Riesling, but also enough fruit to be bone dry without tasting shrill. It’s the benchmark for other Rieslings in the state."
- San Francisco Magazine, June 2011

"Light, greenish gold. Pit fruits and white pepper on the nose, with subtle floral and spice notes adding complexity. Dry and taut, with lively nectarine and quince flavors offering a refreshingly bitter quality. Quite grown-up, even uncompromising, with very good finishing clarity and cut."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

"Pey-Marin's Rieslings have been among the greatest in California, and their 2009 is one of their best yet. The wine is entirely unoaked, and did not undergo the malolactic fermentation, but it was aged on its lees. That allows the acidity to star, and what brilliant acidity it is. Rich and bone dry in steel, mineral, slate, citrus, white peach and Champagne yeast flavors, it takes California Riesling in a whole different direction."
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine

"Bone-dry and minerally; balanced with white peach, green apple, and lime."
- Sunset Magazine, Summer 2010

"Look for Pey-Marin dry Riesling!"
- San Francisco Chronicle


2013 was a terrific vintage in west Marin County. We saw sunshine, long cool nights, limited rain and a long, warm fall. Due to the dry conditions, botrytis pressure didn’t arrive until very late in the season.


Our "The Shell Mound" Riesling is grown in a twenty-four year-old vineyard located less than eight miles from the frigid Pacific Ocean in western Marin County. This site is heavily influenced by the cold Pacific Oceans considerable climatic prowess. Bud break is earlier than neighboring regions, but "set" and harvest are later than other nearby areas. The net result is a very long and cool growing season. The vineyard terrain has rolling coastal hills and its soil profile is decomposed marine sandstone which drains well and is moderately fertile. The site is farmed incorporating organic and sustainable viticultural practices (composting, hand tilling, and diverse cover crops) and is hand-pruned and picked. Our frigid vineyard site gives us naturally high acidity, a hallmark of the great Riesling’s of northern Europe.


Riesling is a noble grape which ruthlessly expresses a purity of place. So for Pey-Marin Riesling we incorporate no new oak, no blending and no malolactic to alter the pure expression of its terroir. Our compact Riesling bunches were hand-harvested and hand-sorted in the field and gently whole cluster pressed (a la champagne method) with multiple press “cuts” to separate the lots. This is a luxury rarely given to Riesling, but we continue to afford it this decadent treatment. After settling, the juice was inoculated using three separate yeasts (Rudisheimer, Colmar & Wadenswil) and cold fermented (59° F) for 27 days capturing its very delicate aromatics, steely, crisp texture and our vineyards terroir. A small, three-barrel fraction saw maturation in neutral French oak barrels, adding texture and mouth-feel. After five months of intensive stirring on these three different yeast lees we bottled in April 2014 into a stelvin-sealed bottle which perfectly preserves its freshness. We call this special wine "The Shell Mound" after the many mounds of oyster shells left by our predecessors across western Marin County.


Regional Composition: Marin County – 100%
Varietal Composition: 100% Riesling (Neustadt 90)
pH: 3.26
Alcohol: ~11%
RS: Very Dry
Total Production: 320 cases

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