2016 Lucia Susan's Hill Syrah

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.

2016 Susan’s Hill Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands, California


After a difficult 2015 harvest and years of prolonged drought, the 2016 vintage saw beautiful weather conditions and a welcomed average yield of fruit. Rain returned to Monterey County in the beginning of the 2016 season (approximately 12 inches, the most our area has seen since 2011). Budbreak began the second week in March and vines showed more life and energy due to the early-season soil moisture. Strong vine growth required additional labor to tend to the shoots. Summer saw a balanced fruit set and weather conditions typical of the windy, fog-blanketed Santa Lucia Highlands. August temperatures were cooler than average which allowed for a slow, gentle ripening up to harvest. Patience was necessary for harvest—it began the first week of September and continued through the first week of October.

the Vineyard

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 with native yeast 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.


The 2016 Susan’s Hill Syrah appears black as ink at its center with a deep purple rim in the glass. A concentration of color that signals this wine’s great aging potential. As more air is introduced with each swirl, the wine shows its hand: savory aromas of cured meats, tobacco, and spiced plum. A dense and layered core of black pepper, blueberry and wild blackberry envelop the palate. The high elevation of the site on which the fruit is produced together with the granite-laden soil result in great concentration of flavor and structural complexity in the form of fine-grained tannin and age-worthy acidity. Tightly wound in its infancy, this wine will benefit from a long decant, or from the time it takes the bottle to collect a mantle of dust while resting peacefully in your cellar.

Cases Produced175
Release DateSeptember 2018
WinemakerJeff Pisoni
Barrel Aging14 months in 40% New Oak
Barrel Origin100% French Oak
Whole Cluster0%
Fermentation100% Native Yeast