"There's nothing natural about winemaking. You can't go find a glass of Chablis in the wild. It's also important to understand that when we're talking about "traditional practices" you're talking about the practices of a specific region. There is no tradition outside of a specific place." - Winemaker Ted Lemon on "natural wine-making"
Littorai Wines was founded in 1993 by Heidi and Ted Lemon. With the exception of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, all Littorai wines are single-vineyard designated from the northern coasts of California, western Sonoma and western Mendocino Counties. In fact, "Littorai" comes from the Latin word for "coasts".
Littorai's philosophy of winemaking is inspired by Ted's years in France and is based upon the concept of terroir. All of the sites in the Littorai vineyard portfolio have been carefully selected by Ted. Many of these are steep hillsides where yields and ripening conditions are marginal.
Fruit sorting happens at the harvest and again in the cellar. All Pinots are cold soaked. Chardonnays are pressed whole cluster. They all undergo native yeast fermentation and complete malolactic fermentation (as long as nature cooperates). They also are bottled unfined and unfiltered and are bottled directly off their original lees.
Wine & Spirits Magazine named Ted Lemon to its "50 Most Influential Winemakers" list in the fall of 2004. The editors wrote, "Lemon was among the first -- and certainly the youngest -- Americans to serve as a vineyard manager and winemaker for a Burgundy vigneron, at Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault, after having apprenticed with Dujac, Roumier, de Villaine, and Bruno Clair. Since then he's brought Burgundian sensibilities to bear on everything from mountain chardonnay (at Chateau Woltner) to wines made from the cool, fogbound sites of the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley."
Robert Parker raves, "All of the Littorai offerings, made by Ted Lemon, are nuanced, restrained, elegant efforts that are no doubt the result of his Burgundian winemaking experience at Domaine Roulot."