2015 Lucia, Susan’s Hill Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Lucia 2015 Susan's Hill Syrah label

With generations of farming history in Monterey County, and a commitment to making exceptional wines, The Pisoni
Family hand-crafts the Lucia wines from the Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes Vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands.


Susan’s Hill, named for Gary’s sister Susan, is a special block within Pisoni Vineyards. Planted in 2001, this block sits on a rocky outcrop and crowns one of the vineyard’s highest ridges. Its peak is exposed to the elements and buffeted by heavy winds. The coarse, rocky soils ensure that the vines are extremely stressed, resulting in wines that are dark in color and very intense.


The Pisoni Family is committed to raising and hand-crafting exceptional wines.  The limited-production Lucia wines are created using classic, gentle and thoughtful winemaking techniques. Hand-picked and sorted grapes are fermented on native yeasts and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facility uses gravity flow as part of a custom design conceived to merge the estate vineyards  and winery. This affords us complete control of the farming and winemaking process, ensuring consistently superior quality.


Farming was extremely important in 2015.  An unseasonably warm winter led to the earliest bud break on record in the Santa Lucia Highlands, effectively shifting the growing season to the early months of the year. May was cold, overcast and windy. Flowering occurred during these fierce weather conditions, resulting in a poor set.  Shatter was rampant.   It became clear early on that 2015 would be a low-yielding vintage.  With crop levels down 70% in some blocks, it was imperative that the remaining fruit be tended with utmost care.  Fortunately, summer cooperated with mild temperatures and normal levels of fog, so vine development kept its usual pace.  Harvest began the last week in August and spanned the month of September.  Despite the early start and finish to harvest, total time for fruit on the vines was relatively typical, and Brix levels were lower than normal due to one more year of drought stress on the vines and early phenolic maturity.


The 2015 Susan’s Hill Syrah block also yielded a very small crop. The wine created from its grapes possesses a color dark as night and high-toned aromas both intense and elegant. Deep blackberry, dried flowers, crushed granite, undertones of leather and spice along with hints of sage offer a powerful opening act. The structure is gentler this year, with the benefit of excellent phenolic development—a product of our earlier growing season for this vintage. Fermented with 60% whole clusters and aged in a combination of small and large format French oak barrels, this wine contains immense depth and length, along with velvety tannins and undeniable richness.

Fall 2017
Jeff Pisoni
15 months in 60% New Oak
100% French
100% Native Yeast