August West Wine
August West Wine is a premium Pinot Noir label based in the town of Sebastopol within the Russian River Valley AVA. The partners of this venture are Gary Franscioni, owner of Rosella’s Vineyard, Howard Graham, owner of Graham Family Vineyard, and winemaker Ed Kurtzman.
Located in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Rosella’s Vineyard is one of California’s most noteable Pinot Noir properties. Owner Gary Franscioni planted his 50 acre vineyard with mainly Pinot, but also some Chardonnay and Syrah. In addition to making August West, he sells his grapes to several other premium wineries.
Graham Family Vineyard is another excellent Pinot Noir property located in the central part of the Russian River Valley AVA. For years, the land was planted with apple orchards until Howard Graham planted Pinot during the 1990s.
Winemaker Ed Kurtzman began his career in 1994, when he went to work for Ben Pon’s Bernardus Winery in the Carmel Valley AVA. Kurtzman’s most recent releases for August West include the 2005 Graham Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2005 Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2005 Rosella’s Vineyard Syrah, and 2005 Rosella’s Vineyard Chardonnay.