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SpotlightKalin Cellars Winery Spotlight – SF Wine Tasting Panel Spotlight

Kalin Cellars Winery Spotlight – SF Wine Tasting Panel Spotlight

Have you ever wanted to taste an exceptionally aged wine? Kalin Cellars shows just how well wines can age when crafted and stored correctly. Kalin produces aged wines that are new, exciting, and unusually spectacular.

Kalin Cellars was founded in 1977 and is located in Marin County. Kalin is owned and operated by Terry and Frances Leighton. They are the only two people between the grape and the bottle. This means there are no assistant winemakers, or cellar workers, just a little help from their friends. The whole concept is the process by which Kalin wines are made. It’s a lesson about the importance of storing and aging wines. The Leighton’s are really something special, not what people are used to, but what makes them extremely impressive!

The founding concept was to employ artisanal methods such as hand selecting grapes, barrel fermentation, sur lies aging of white wines, fermentation in wood with hand punching down and long-term barrel aging of red wines. Kalin Cellars prides themselves on minimal manipulation (no filtration) to produce wines of enduring value with traditional European style and character. Wines of such value require time, commitment, and the discipline to create nothing less than first-class quality. This level of investment grade, quality and longevity require long periods of barrel and bottle development that most producers have abandoned due to economic necessity.

Kalin Cellar’s competitive cluster is the first growth wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Kalin invests the same time-consuming and labor-intensive methods that are used by these producers, but charges much less for a similar caliber of wine. Kalin produces approximately 7,000 cases per year of 100% single vintage and single vineyard wines. Kalin pioneered the production of unfiltered, sur lies aged white wines in California. All white wines have been bottled without filtration since 1981. Red wines are always bottled without fining, filtration, or the addition of press wine. Kalin produces barrel fermented rose sparkling wine (Cuvee Rose), Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and in special vintages a late-harvest dessert wine, Cuvee d’Or, from botrytis affected Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Kalin Cellars uses the term “Cuvée”, meaning a lot or batch, as a shorthand system to identify individual vineyard locations. Their vineyard locations include: Cuvée DD (David Demostene’s vineyard in Alexander Valley), Cuvée LD (Jasper Long’s hillside vineyard off Dry Creek Road), Cuvée LR (Jasper Long’s vineyard on the Dry Creek River), Cuvée LV (Jasper Long’s vineyard on Dry Creek Road), Cuvée W (Wente Estate vineyard in the Livermore Valley), Cuvée Rose – Barrel fermented rose sparkling wine from Pasternak vineyard in Marin – bottled with no dosage), Cuvée Blanche (Barrel fermented Chardonnay sparkling wine from Lorenzo vineyard in Sonoma – bottled with no dosage), and Cuvée d’Or (Botrytis affected) barrel fermented Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc from Lovin vineyard in Potter Valley.

Every wine that Kalin offers is a “library wine!” The wines reflect Kalin’s credo “Produce No Wine With Less Character Than Yourself.”


Every wine that Kalin offers is a “library wine!” The wines reflect Kalin’s credo “Produce No Wine With Less Character Than Yourself.”


Kalin Cellar Wines to Purchase


Purchase 3 Pack

Save 15% and bundle all three wines for $139.95 (Originally $165)

Ah-So is included with any purchase of Kalin Wines to assist with opening older bottles


1996 Kalin Chardonnay “Cuvée W” Livermore: $54.95

2001 Kalin Semillon Livermore Valley: $54.95

2000 Kalin Cellars Pinot Noir “Cuvée DD” Alexander Valley: $54.95