I love exploring—new places, products, and different cuisines. When it comes to discovering something new, I am usually game. These two bottles of Maritana Vineyards wines are my latest significant discoveries. Ok, maybe I didn’t really find them, find them. Perhaps I saw a wine friend very excited about receiving them on social media and thought I must try them. But, that’s kind of discovering them, isn’t it?

Oh well, heck, you know what I mean!

Maritana is the newest project by Donald Patz. Patz has a deeply rooted history in the wine business. In 2017 he decided to concentrate all his attention on curating small lots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County with a brand called Maritana Vineyards. Since then he added a few more projects to his portfolio—Secret Door Winery (founded by Donald Patz and Jung Min Lee), and Terminim Wines (a collaboration between François Villard and Donald Patz).

Maritana is Patz’s most significant project and produces approximately 4000 cases a year.

The name for the vineyards was derived from an embodiment of thoughts of the region. The long process of marrying those words together formed the name Maritana:

Sonoma = Oceans and Mountains

Oceans… MARItime

Mountains… MonTANA



Focusing on the Pinot Noir aromas and the spirit of the growing region for the Chardonnay, the wines are meant to have distinct character.

“You may think you know all about the Russian River Valley and the style of wines that come from there, but the Maritana Vineyards’ wines are probably not what you think” a statement on the Maritana Vineyards website.

I will gladly attest, NO. THEY. ARE. NOT.


The Maritana Vineyards Tasting

Maritana Vineyards Le Russe Pinot Noir

Maritana Vineyards Le Russe Pinot Noir 2018

Blended from several sites and clones within the region, this robust red is absolutely gorgeous. The nose is lovely aromatics of potpourri and berry. Notes of bright red fruits, cola, and dried herbs follow through to the end. The wine is very sensual and inviting. On the palate, this medium-bodied wine is very involved finishing with deep tannins. This wine is a beautiful example of a well-curated pinot that embodies the origin of its fruits. There is no fruit-bomb here, just clean, clear juice.

Known to many as Dr. Pinot, it is clear that Donald Patz’s vision is laser-focused.

The one negative—if any—it is clear that once you have enjoyed this wine, you wish you had more bottles. This wine is beautiful right now, but I would love to taste it again years from now.

If you can find it, Maritana Vineyards Le Russe Pinot Noir is one that you should definitely seek out.

maritana chardonnay dutton ranch 2018

Maritana Dutton Ranch Shop Block 1967 Chardonnay 2018

50-year-old vines? Yep! This single-vineyard wine is produced from the fruit of those vines. This wine coats the palate with minerality and vibrant notes of yellow apples, vanilla, and citrus curd. There is a vague earthiness. The finish is slow and lingering. There is much to appreciate about this wine. Coming from one who is a reasonably picky Chard drinker.

The wine exudes class and elegance. This may be the priciest Chardonnay I have ever drunk at $70 per bottle, and it was definitely amazing.


For more information on Maritana Vineyards and Don Patz Wine Group visit www.donaldpatzwinegroup.com

Please keep in mind wine is subjective, and each palate has it’s own preference. I encourage you to explore and sip your way to what is pleasurable to your palate.

All wines reviewed were industry samples. However, the assessments made are mine.

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