Woodside, CA, August 1, 2018 – Clos De La Tech, the celebrated producer of luxury-class Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, has appointed American Wine & Spirits of California, the fine wine division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, to manage distribution of their wines throughout California. Clos de la Tech’s Managing Director, Vito Gambini, will work closely with the SGWS team to ensure a seamless rollout in both the northern and southern regions of the state.
“We are excited to partner with the fine wine division of Southern Glazer’s in California,” says Mr. Gambini. “they have the passion, knowledge, experience and relationships to properly present our portfolio to the state’s top restaurants, hotels and independent retailers. Our wines are radically different than most other California Pinot Noirs. They are solidly structured and built to age. Every vintage is cellared for four to five years before it is offered to the trade and public. Each year we also make available a small quantity of fully mature, perfectly stored library wines from our La Cache program. In addition to our current releases, Southern Glazer’s will receive an allocation in 2018 of our 2004s and 2005s for high-end restaurants with reserve wine lists.”
“We are thrilled to be working with TJ and Valeta Rodgers, the owners of Clos de la Tech,” says Jon Newlon, Vice President and General Manager of American Wine & Spirits, the fine wine division of Southern Glazer’s in California. “Their Pinot Noirs rank among the finest in California. They also have one of the most beautiful wine estates I have ever seen. They are welcomed addition to our portfolio.”
Says Valeta Rodgers, co-owner and winemaker at Clos de la Tech, “We didn’t choose Southern Glazer’s because they are the largest distributor in North America. We chose them because they are the best. Their sales team is professional, smart, wine savvy and well connected. They understand our vision and they appreciate the style of our wines. TJ and I are convinced they will do a great job representing our winery in California.”
Since its establishment in the 1990s by Dr. T.J. Rodgers, a founder and retired CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and his wife Valeta, a former chip designer, Clos de la Tech has endeavored to make the New World’s finest Pinot Noir. Their mantra of zero compromises has led to a number of unique inventions, advances and solutions in viticulture and winemaking. CDLT’s three estate vineyards feature French ENTAV-certified Dijon Pinot Noir clones planted at 4,150 per acre, the same density as found at the greatest vineyards in Burgundy and Bordeaux. With two to five times more vines per acre than other premium California vineyards, CDLT’s wines deliver greater intensity and a purer expression of terroir ‑ the essence of the land.
The winery’s Domaine Valeta and Domaine Lois Louise vineyards are at the peak of the Santa Cruz Mountains that separate the Pacific Ocean from the Santa Clara (Silicon) Valley. The slopes are so steep they must be hand farmed and the weather is so cool that yields average a mere 1.5 tons per acre in good years and no crop in two-out-of-ten years. Cold weather and low yields produce wines with more intense bouquet and flavor.
For a winery run by technical people, Clos de la Tech employs surprisingly ancient vinification techniques developed by the famed winemaker Ouvrard at the Romanée-Conti vineyard in the 1830s. These include hand harvesting, foot-crushing (no machines) of whole clusters (no destemming), fermentation using only native-yeasts (an important part of terroir), and no pumping, filtration or fining. The wine flows by gravity from the fermentation cave to the barrel cave for aging and on to the bottling cave for further aging ‒ a total of four to five years after harvest before release.
The Pinot Noirs from Clos de la Tech have received high praise and impressive scores from the media, trade and collectors for their concentration, structure and longevity. They are rare, timeless, unique, complex and clearly identifiable in blind tastings.
About Clos de la Tech
With caves tunneled deep into a vine-covered ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains and vineyards so steep they have to be farmed with a unique, specially-designed tractor moved by cables, Clos de la Tech is one of the most ambitious and innovative Pinot Noir producers in California. The winery was established in 1994 and continues to be operated by TJ Rodgers, founder and retired CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and his wife, Valeta, herself a former chip designer. Some of the highlights at Clos de la Tech include extreme growing conditions, high-altitude terrain, hand farming, high-density planting (4,150 vines per acre), low yields (often less than one ton per acre), gravity-flow winemaking, foot-crushing, native-yeast fermentations and no fining, pumping or filtration, just as winemaking was done in Burgundy in the 1830s.