Childhood friends Nathan Roberts and Duncan Arnot-Meyers founded their winery in 2001. Nathan grew up around wine thanks to his grandmother’s marriage to Robert Mondavi and his father’s career as a cooper (Nathan now makes all the barrels for Arnot-Roberts), while Duncan had spent years making wine at Caymus, Groth, Kongsgaard and with Pax Mahle at Wind Gap. Initially their focus was just on making great Californian wines, but when the cool 2005 vintage gave them wines in a more austere, high acid style than the region was used to, Nathan and Duncan reacted completely differently to practically everyone else in California – they loved them and decided to pursue lower ripeness levels and higher acidity in all of their wines henceforth.

Their focus shifted to the best cool climate sites they could find, most of which were struggling to sell their fruit due to the obsession with high sugar levels that was pervasive at the time. Vineyards like Clary Ranch, Fellom Ranch, Luchsinger and Griffin’s Lair are lauded today, but not long ago it was only Nathan and Duncan that wanted their fruit. The winemaking at Arnot-Roberts is decidedly low-intervention, with spontaneous fermentations and no interventions aside from conscientious additions of SO2.

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