Tasting Notes

2015 Chardonnay bottle image

2015 Chardonnay

“Personally, I strive to create balanced Chardonnays that are juicy and fruit-forward, with bright acidity and levels of depth and nuance. Subtlety is key for a well-made Chardonnay – a challenge I relish,” says winemaker Linda Trotta. This full-bodied and refreshing Chardonnay has hints of tropical fruit aromas, honeycomb, stone fruit and well-integrated oak. Balanced and rich on the palate, it is inviting and complex. The bright acidity makes it a delicious and food-friendly wine.

BLEND: 50% Russian River Valley, 50% Monterey County
FOOD PAIRING: Salmon rillettes

Pinot Noir bottle image

Pinot Noir

As winemaker Aaron Bader says, “Making good Pinot is both a physical and mental exercise. And then it's so darn delicious. It's sexy, luscious, with that sweet perfume, a hint of maple syrup, and lush fruit.” On this Pinot Noir a complex nose with notes of black olive, earthiness, cranberry and Bing cherry invite you in. The entry carries the fruit and earth notes along with an echo of black olive, a hint of white pepper, and a slight caramel oak flavor.

BLEND: 76% Santa Rita Hills, 24% Russian River Valley
FOOD PAIRING: Grilled portobello mushrooms with garlic and baked brie.


To make great wine, our winemakers start with a vision—a goal of what that wine should taste like in a perfect world. And then the work begins. The first step is to find the grower and the region—the natural elements that create the raw material: great grapes. It’s critical that the grape grower sign on as a partner in this process. The decisions made in the vineyard are just as important as those in the cellar.

In the end, wine is an expression of these combined personalities: the natural world of the grape, captured by the focus and attention of the winemaker, and crafted into a wine that expresses the essence of varietal character. That’s what drives us at Adler Fels: a vision for making artisan wines with intense varietal character, with the quality of these top vineyards in every glass.


Winemaker Aaron Bader was born into the wine business  His family owns and operates a boutique vineyard in Napa Valley, so he literally grew up with his hands in the dirt. Aaron graduated UC Davis with a degree in enology and joined his family’s business. After ten years as the chief winemaker, Aaron went on to work at some of the most impressive wineries in the Napa Valley, from Cardinale Estate and Darioush to Opus One, and in Monterey County where Pinot Noir has reached legendary status.

“I learned a lot about creating wines with vision and purpose from those experiences,” says Aaron, “but the most important thing I learned was right on our family property: that vision has to start on the ground, with the grapes and the people who grow them. At Adler Fels, I get my pick of the some of the finest vineyards in all of California to make exactly the kind of wine I want to make. I appreciate the European style, but California fruit has a special character we have to respect and honor.”

Winemaker Linda Trotta, a second generation Italian-American born and raised in Southern California, brought joy and delight to her parents when she chose to study winemaking at UC Davis and spend a year abroad studying Italian art history at Università degli Studi di Padova. She fell in love with wine when she took a brief break from studying to experience the harvest at Santa Margherita Winery in the Veneto. The rest is history, as they say: the wine bug bit her, and her professional winemaking adventure began in 1986. Time flies when you love what you do, and, over the last 30 years, Linda has worked at some of the best wineries around the globe – St. Francis, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons (Paarl, South Africa), Gundlach Bundschu and Swiftwater Cellars (Columbia Valley, WA).

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with many varietals in my career but my favorite is Chardonnay. Chardonnay is crafted in many different styles, from big, sweet, buttery, oaky Chardonnays to steely, tank-fermented non-malolactic Chardonnays. Personally, I strive to create balanced Chardonnays that are juicy and fruit-forward, with bright acidity and levels of depth and nuance. Subtlety is key for a well-made Chardonnay – a challenge I relish.”