2016 Pey-Marin Vineyards Riesling "The Shell Mound," Marin County

- Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Pey-Marin Vineyards Riesling

  • 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
  • Twenty-five-year-old site in deep, sandy soils provide excellent conditions for a truly unique wine
  • No oak, no malo, and no blending 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 a dry Riesling that displays exemplary steeliness and freshness." 

Price: $29 per bottle

Shipping and handling included at no charge on 6+ bottles!


- Wine Enthusiast Magazine

"Crisp, dry, elegant and wonderfully refreshing. This is one of the very few great, dry Rieslings made in California. Marvelous wine from Marin County!"
– Ed Schwartz, Marin Arts & Culture Magazine, February 2018

"The Marin climate is ideal for the cold-loving riesling grape. Crisp and bone-dry, this wine, named for the mounds of oyster shells scattered across the county - has aromas of green apple, white peach and lemon zest."
- Eating Well Magazine, 2017

"From a vineyard between Tomales and San Pablo bays, this wine is bone-dry, on the citrusy end of Riesling, with an arresting mineral component. More lemon verbena than lemon cake; clean & fresh."
- San Francisco Chronicle, October 2016

"Pey-Marin Riesling is one of the driest and most taut Rieslings made anywhere, with sleek minerality and an avalanche of green apple citrus on the palate."
"Riesling Rediscovered", the penultimate book on Riesling, by John Haeger (2015)



2016 was a very good, but (again!) very small vintage in west Marin County. We saw lots of sunshine, long cool nights, limited rain and a long, warm fall. And there was no botrytis pressure until very late in the season. But cluster counts and cluster sizes were very small. In short, we were happy with the result – except the dismally low yields. 


Our “The Shell Mound” Riesling is estate grown in our twenty-six year-old vineyard located less than eight miles from the frigid Pacific Ocean in western Marin County. Our vineyard 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 areas. The net result is a very long & moderate 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). Our frigid vineyard site gives us naturally high acidity, a hallmark of the great dry Rieslings 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 33 days capturing its very delicate aromatics, steely, crisp texture and our vineyards terroir. After six months of intensive stirring on these three different yeast lees (develops mouthfeel) we bottled in June 2017 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: 3.28
Alcohol: ~11%
RS: Very Dry
Total Production: 180 cases

Download Tasting Notes