Mansfield-Dunne Wines is the culmination of a 10 year effort of John and Lynn Peterson to secure land in the Santa Lucia Highlands with the goal to grow premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and produce wine from those grapes. We have long been Pinot Noir and Chardonnay lovers and (John at least) long harbored the goal of developing a vineyard and label focused on these varietals. After discovering the Santa Lucia Highlands area in 2001 and meeting Ed Kurtzman and a couple of the local growers, we were impressed with the potential of the appellation and quickly concluded this was the place to focus our dream project. After years of searching, we secured an undeveloped property at the base of the mountains up Big Bench Road in 2009. In 2010 we secured what is now the Peterson Vineyard alongside River Road, which was already planted to 8.8 acres of Pinot Noir. We planted an acre of Chardonnay there in 2011 and have been producing limited quantities of Chardonnay starting with the 2015 vintage.
As friends of Ed Kurtzman and big fans of his wines, we were very happy that he was willing to join us in this journey. Ed is extremely familiar with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, and we knew our grapes would be in the best of hands.
After 4 years of drilling water wells and vineyard planing, we finally began the development of our second property in the Santa Lucia Highlands in 2014. This property is at higher elevation of 1200-1600 feet and gives us the opportunity to work with a different microclimate within the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. So far we have planted 30.3 more acres of Pinot Noir, 7.9 more acres of Chardonnay and a tiny bit each of Syrah and Viognier. We experienced our first small production of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah from the new vineyard in 2016 and have named the new vineyard Cortada Alta.