Lucia Syrah Susan's Hill Vineyard

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.

2018 Susan’s Hill Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands, California


2018 was an excellent year for grape growers and winemakers. We had enough rain in winter, moderate temperatures in spring and summer, and an excellent harvest to look toward in fall. The Santa Lucia Highlands received 8 inches of rain–less than average, but sufficient for the vines and very welcome after several drought years. Budbreak began on March 15th and was followed by more spring showers on the 21st, adding nicely to soil moisture. In spring, temperatures remained moderate. Growers kept their fingers crossed, hoping to avoid summer heat spikes. This season was also temperate, with highs lower than we’ve seen in years. Our characteristic wind and fog persisted, too. Vine growth was slow because of the cool weather; and veraison, when grapes turn from green to purple, long. We performed more than the usual number of “green harvests” to drop fruit and encourage uniform ripening. The weather stayed cool up to fall. Because the fruit developed so gradually, we sampled and tasted more than we typically do. Throughout the slow, steady ripening and exceptional weather, we waited with great anticipation to bring in fruit as soon--but not before--it was ready. Our Chardonnay grapes were harvested first, beginning on September 12. On the 13th we also began harvesting Pinot Noir, and continued to do so through October 8th, timing each vineyard block according to its own readiness.


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.


Encompassed by a vibrant purple rim, the 2018 Lucia Susan’s Hill Syrah borders on jet black at its core. Beautifully expressive as it rests undisturbed in the glass, this classic Syrah transforms with each swirl as aromas of white pepper, orange peel, and crushed blueberry take flight. With each moment, flavors develop and evolve—hints of spice and fresh blackberry interweave with waves of smoked meats, cigar box, orange zest, and crushed plum. This wine is a snapshot of east-facing, high elevation slopes of Pisoni Vineyards, where rugged, granite soils and windy, coastal influence create a wine of precision and concentration. This Susan’s Hill Syrah was aged in foudre for 22 months. Pillared by persistent and fine-grained tannin, this wine is a baby with an aging potential of at least two decades.

Cases Produced110
Retail Price$60
Release DateSeptember 2020
WinemakerJeff Pisoni
Barrel Aging22 months in Foudre (317 gallon). 100% New.
Barrel Origin100% French Oak
Whole Cluster80%
Fermentation100% Native Yeast