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Press Highlights

Wine & Spirits Magazine Top 100

Top 100 Wineries of 2023
Our calendar year ends in the fall, when we look back at the results from hundreds of blind tastings by our panels and our critics—close to 10,000 wines—to seek out the wineries that excited us most, and excited us often. You’ll find profiles of these consistent top performers in the pages that follow.

If you find names that surprise you among our Top 100 Wineries, know that they have earned their place through remarkable performances across a range of wines. We encourage you to try them.

Minus Tide 
Minus Tide earned this award based on the performance of your wines in our tastings, consistently impressing our panels and critics with wines that delivered precise regional expressions. This year, we tasted and assessed more than 9,000 wines. Our team considered all the wines based solely on appellation, variety and vintage, and yours balanced all of those factors beautifully. We are excited to include Minus Tide among the award-winning wineries.

Top 100 Wines of the Year
Top 100 Wineswines that captivated us, lingering in our thoughts well after the last drop had disappeared. It’s an eclectic group, filled with gems from all corners of the wine world.

As wine professionals, we are often asked, “What should I buy? What should I drink?” Here are 100 answers, each one exceptional in its own way.
Best Syrah
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Syrah, Mendocino Ridge - 95 Points
I wish there were more vineyards like Perli in Mendocino’s high ridges. The best wines from the site have dynamic intensity, like this 2019, which seems to grab you by the lapels (if you’re stodgy enough to be wearing a suit while drinking syrah). There’s tense acidity driving the wine, but it doesn’t stand in front of the scents of crushed violets and peak-season blueberries. The tannins may be a little rustic, but the wine’s energy makes them feel joyous.

Top 100 Best Buys
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Syrah, Mendocino Ridge - 95 Points
—Josh Greene and Alissa Bica, Fall 2023
Food & Wine
Best American Pinot Noirs
For centuries, Burgundy has been the benchmark for top Pinot Noir. And while the great vineyards of that storied region remain at or near the top of the wine-quality pyramid, the best Pinots from the United States are every bit as worthy of attention and adulation. The 45 below, all from between 2018 and 2021, represent a selection of the cream of the domestic crop. Whether from well-known and beloved appellations like Oregon’s Willamette Valley or from California stalwarts like Russian River Valley or relatively new AVAs like West Sonoma Coast, these cellar-worthy wines, up to around $175, are vinous superstars in their own right.
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
Notably translucent and herbaceous in the best possible sense, this is a deliciously Burgundian expression of Pinot Noir, full of cranberry and red mountain-berry flavors that are flecked with fresh herbs, citrus oils, and an underpinning of forest floor that finds a beautifully calibrated counterpoint in a lingering note of rose hips. This is an absolute steal of a wine at under $50, and proves that splurges don’t have to cost a fortune.

—Brian Freedman, April 2023

The Year's 50 Best Wines Under $50, From an Expert Who Tasted 3,243

I love drinking rare, expensive wine as much as anyone, but I’m a bargain hunter at heart. I’m always on the lookout for the reds, whites, rosés and sparklers that deliver top quality at a reasonable cost. So, as I reviewed my 2023 tasting notes, I was delighted to discover this was a banner year for good values, despite inflation.

I culled my following 50 good buys from 3,243 wines from 21 countries that I sipped this year. I’ve tried to highlight what’s new, at least to me, but some are familiar labels that consistently deliver deliciousness—and they haven’t raised their prices, either. 

Rosé for All Seasons
Dry pink wines as an aperitif, party sipper or with food.
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
The mouthwatering, almost salty acidity in this Mendocino rosé makes it a super food wine. From a single vineyard of old carignan vines, it has aromas of apricots and intense concentrated flavor. 
—Elin McCoy, December 2023
Fab $40s
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 94 Points
One sip of this Pinot is enough to transport you to the redwood forests of Mendocino Ridge--the only non-contiguous AVA in America (only Mendocino vineyards at elevations above 1,200 feet can be included). Aromas of cedar and bay laurel. Exotic spices. Rich black cherries. All uplifted by the wine’s purity and freshness.
—Karen MacNeil, July 2024
Decanter Magazine
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 94 Points
Co-owners and co-winemakers Kyle Jeffrey and Brad Jonas source grapes from the Manchester Ridge Vineyard in the Mendocino Ridge AVA. Lively, with mineral-tinged red berry fruit, white pepper, and dried sage aromas. Wonderfully supple with ripe acidity framing tangy redcurrant and tart cherry fruits, turning savoury with cherry pit, flamed blood orange peel, and a beautifully floral persistence.
2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 93 Points
Compelling and highly perfumed aromas of black olives, violets, liquorice, and supple blackberry fruits nuanced by charcuterie notes lead with lifted mineral overtones. Offering classic Syrah notes leading with a serious meatiness that builds in intensity, matched by sweet cassis, brandied cherries, olive tapenade, and smoky minerals. Firm, fine-grained tannins underscore a long finish of black pepper, cardamom, earth, and crushed dried violets. Co-owners and co-winemakers Kyle Jeffrey and Brad Jonas source grapes from Valenti Vineyard, a south-facing site at elevations of 296 to 487 metres in the Mendocino Ridge AVA.
—Jonathan Cristaldi, January 2024

The Tasting Panel

Publisher's Picks
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 95 Points
Juicy and bright, with brushy notes, notably white pepper, and oregano. Pomegranate and black cherry dig deep into an earthy layer. Acidity adds oomph, but its savory qualities are memorable. The vineyard lies at 2,000 feet in elevation and is part of the Mendocino Ridge appellation, the only non-contiguous AVA in the U.S. 
2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 92 Points
Vineyard elevations reaching 1,600 provide the fruit for this powerful red. Pepper stands out alongside black plum and dried violets. A base of roasted coffee bean and charcuterie add to its French accent.
—Meridith May, January 2024
Wine & Spirits
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 94 Points, Best Buy
Manchester Ridge is an extreme site juxtaposing altitude with proximity to the coast: 3.5 miles inland and 2,000 feet above the Pacific. Winemakers and winery partners Kyle Jeffrey and Brad Jonas include whole clusters (40 percent) when they let this wine spontaneously ferment and, though they age it in neutral barrels, there’s a clear oak influence when the wine is first opened, with wood tannins and a piney scent. The floral notes and mushroom umami are there from the start, but give this a day to regroup with air and the wood tannins seem to have dissolved into that savory umami, and the floral length of flavor extends. A wine of delicate power, tightly wound, built for aging.
—Josh Greene, March 2024
American Rosés for the Fourth of July
2023 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé
A cool-climate wine made from old vines, head-trained and planted in 1908, this shows its maritime influence with hints of saline, streak of acidity and concentrated fruit flavors of strawberry and sour cherry with pops of watermelon. A nice wine for those who want something a little off the beaten path but without the funkiness of a natural wine.
—Lana Bortolot, July 2024
Minus Tide Wines is a love letter to Mendocino County
Even without a tasting room, their brand regularly sells out of its wines and just launched a wine club.
From left: Brad Jonas, Miriam Jonas and Kyle Jeffrey, founders of Minus Tide Wines in Mendocino County.
Minus Tide sources 100% of its fruit from Mendocino County.
Minus Tide Wines evoke the feeling of the Mendocino Coast, where co-founder Brad Jonas was raised.
Minus Tides sources Syrah from Valenti Vineyard in Mendocino Ridge, a cool, high-elevation appellation nicknamed “Islands in the Sky.”
Growing up in the small, wind-swept town of Mendocino, Brad Jonas spent much of his childhood diving off the coast for abalone, a delicacy of the sea.
While a typical dive took him 20 feet below the surface to reach the jeweled mollusks, a minus tide — an ultralow tide caused by the moon’s gravitational pull — exposed the abalone much closer to shore.
“A minus tide really exposes the bounty of the sea. Sometimes you don’t even have to go into the water to find the abalone — they might be in a tide pool with mussels and sea urchin,” said Jonas. “Minus Tide felt like the perfect name for our winery. We want to expose the hidden gems of the vineyard while evoking the feeling of the Mendocino Coast.”
Founded in 2017, Minus Tide Wines is a partnership between Jonas, his wife, Miriam, and their friend Kyle Jeffrey, who all met as students at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Brad Jonas and Jeffrey, who met during freshman orientation at Cal Poly, share winemaking duties, while Miriam Jonas, an account director at J.A.M. Public Relations, leads the PR and marketing charge.
At a time when the future of the wine industry remains uncertain, the owners of Minus Tide have purposely placed their eggs in multiple income baskets. Jonas is the winemaker at Toulouse Vineyards in Philo, while Jeffrey makes wine for Woods Beer & Wine Co. in San Francisco.
“If Minus Tide were our only source of income, I think it would be a lot more stressful and some of the joy and excitement would go away,” said Jonas. “We all have day jobs, so it takes all three of us to make it work. We’re all involved in every aspect of the business, but not in an overwhelming way. It’s just right.”
A love letter to Mendocino
Producing about 600-700 cases of wine per year, Minus Tide is a love letter to Mendocino County — a region Jonas believes “doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.”
“We made a conscious decision to make Mendocino County a key part of our identity to help build the Mendocino brand,” said Jonas. “A lot of the region’s premium fruit gets trucked down to Sonoma County. We want to keep it local and showcase all Mendocino County can do.”
Currently, Minus Tide sources fruit from six different vineyards, including Syrah from Perli Vineyard in Mendocino Ridge, Carignan from Hopland’s more than 100-year-old Feliz Creek Vineyard, and high-elevation Pinot Noir from Manchester Ridge.
Admittedly, their agreed-upon favorite is the Syrah from Valenti Vineyard ($42) in Mendocino Ridge, a cool, high-elevation appellation nicknamed “Islands in the Sky.”
Located six miles from the coast, the wind-whipped location is among the last to ripen in the appellation, resulting in deeply complex wines that are both alive and balanced.
“It’s an incredible site that produces Syrah with tons of black pepper and this meaty, spicy flavor we just love,” said Jonas. “But it also has this elegant, restrained power to it. It’s one of our favorites.”
Among Minus Tide’s most thought-provoking wines is its cool-climate study of Cabernet Sauvignon ($60), with fruit sourced from Vine View Ranch in the Yorkville Highlands. Resting at 1,500 feet in elevation, the site produces a remarkably bright expression of the Bordeaux varietal, which is grounded by healthy tannins and notes of plum and garrigue (dried herbs).
Another standout is Minus Tide’s 2023 Chenin Blanc ($32) from Sterling Ranch — a boon for dry, aromatic white wine lovers (like myself) — with loads of pear, Golden Delicious apple, bright quince and mouthwatering acidity.
The value of staying small
Despite the challenges affecting some areas of the wine industry, Minus Tide has found a way to thrive. Even without a tasting room, the brand regularly sells out of its wines and just launched a wine club.
“We’re small enough and nimble enough to easily pivot if an area of the market isn’t working,” said Jonas. “We feel really comfortable at this size, so for now, we’re not planning on getting enormous anytime soon.”
—Sarah Doyle, June 2024
The New Wine ReviewWhat You Need to Know: California Syrah
California Syrah is delicious, made in a wide array of styles from rich and powerful to spicy and lean, goes well with food, and grows well in lots of places.
Beyond its many other virtues, Syrah offers variety. Syrahs from Napa Valley and Paso Robles are often ripe, rich, and velvety in texture, with flavors that tend more to meat than lavender. Syrahs from the Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria, or the upper reaches of Mendocino Ridge generally exude more of the rotundone compound that gives the grape its peppery spice and earthy undertones.
But really: why not try them all?
Mendocino County
2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
Valenti is dry farmed and quintessentially cool climate, and this 50 percent whole-cluster Syrah captures everything you want in such a wine—it’s aromatic, spicy, fresh, and structured, melds together flavors of cassis, herbes de Provence, and black olive with ease, and is remarkably delicious.
—Virginie Boone, April 2024
Vintner Project
California's Wildest Appellation
Bears...and endless switchbacks won’t stop producers from making amazing wines on the Mendocino Ridge
Brad Jonas, Miriam Jonas, and Kyle Jeffrey
The nation’s only non-contiguous appellation is wild, remote, and difficult to farm. Estates are so alpine and isolated that producers call them “islands in the sky”—a nickname actually trademarked by one Mendocino Ridge producer, Mariah Vineyards. The AVA covers a quarter-million acres, but less than 100 are planted. 
By definition, Mendocino Ridge grapes grow above 1,200 feet within 10 miles of the ocean in this eponymous northern California county. Located above the line of fog that has given the better-known Anderson Valley to the east its famed diurnal swing, Mendocino Ridge is all about its coastal influence—so much so that growers have petitioned the TTB to rename the appellation Mendocino Coast Ridge. Says Minus Tide WinesBrad Jonas, “The ocean moderates temperatures. It’s a long, even, cool growing season. There’s a lot of sunlight and not a lot of heat. We’re picking Chardonnay and Pinot sometimes into October.”

Jonas sources those varieties from Manchester Ridge Vineyard, 2,000 feet up and 3.5 miles from the Pacific, where it’s usually 20 degrees cooler than in the Valley. These conditions help bring elegance, though patient winemaking also contributes. Minus Tide’s 2021 Manchester Ridge Chardonnay is lemon-lime lean but with a custardy mouthfeel. “A marker of Mendocino Ridge fruit is high malic acid,” Jonas explains. “It looks like it won’t make drinkable still wine, but after 13 or 14 months in neutral oak, where the malic acid converts slowly to lactic acid, you’re looking at super acidic, mineral Chardonnay that also has richness and texture.” 

Fermented naturally with 40 percent whole clusters, then aged in neutral oak, his [2021 Manchester Ridge Vineyard] Pinot Noir offers cherry and earth, citrus pith, and an intriguing hint of prosciutto, meaty and briny. “I always get salinity from this vineyard. That’s proximity to the ocean,” he says. Most exciting is his Syrah, especially after aging. Made with at least half whole clusters from the 1,800-foot apex of organic Valenti Vineyard, Minus Tide’s 2019 Syrah is filled with smoky spice but with a floral aroma and lithe, bright fruit. The grapes struggle to ripen; sometimes he harvests at Halloween. But that gives the phenolics time to develop. “If you like that peppery character, Valenti has it in spades,” says Jonas. It’s a wine that feels like it will age forever.  

Acid and tannins, the structural elements that come from this terroir, give the wines staying power, particularly in the Ridge’s northernmost vineyards. 
—Betsy Andrews, May 2024 
I’m happy to recommend to you the latest Syrah release from the tiny boutique producer Minus Tide, who has managed to get ahold of fruit from one of the best Syrah vineyards in California. The Valenti Vineyard is high on Greenwood Ridge, roughly 6 miles from the Pacific at the western edge of Anderson Valley in Mendocino. Planted in 1998 it has made some of my favorite California Syrahs for many years. This one, made by Brad Jonas and Kyle Jeffrey, has a feral intensity that will appeal to anyone who is looking for more than just polished fruit in their glass.
2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - Around 9 Points
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of wet earth, black cherry, and a hint of horse sweat. In the mouth, wonderfully bright, citrus oil and black cherry fruit are mouthwatering with a saline acidity that is quite disarming. Powdery tannins coat the mouth and then stiffen with time leaving a stony character in the mouth, as salty black cherry and leather flavors linger through the finish. Unusual and slightly feral (in a very good way). 50% whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts, then aged for 11 months in neutral oak.
—Alder Yarrow, January 2024
The New Wine Review
What You Need to Know About California White Wines
In the right hands, California Chardonnay is one of the great wines of the world.
California Chardonnay Vineyards to Know
Don’t miss Manchester Ridge, an extreme site right on the rugged Mendocino coast that absorbs the full force of the Pacific Ocean and produces beautiful wines.
Also worth your time:
Minus Tide
—Virginie Boone, March 2024
Wine & Spirits
Year's Best US Rhône Varieties
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 95 Points, Best Buy: Exciting, Distinctive; A wine that transcends simple typicity to its region or variety—a vivid, singular expression of place.
I wish there were more vineyards like Perli in Mendocino's high ridges. The best wines from the site have dynamic intensity, like this 2019, which seems to grab you by the lapels (if you're stodgy enough to be wearing a suit while drinking syrah). Tense acidity drives the wine, but it doesn't stand in front of the scents of crushed violets and peak-season blueberries. The tannins may be a little rustic, but the wine's energy makes them feel joyous.
2019 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 92 Points: Delicious, Compelling; A compelling wine of its region; a delicious, finessed expression of a place.
Open and airy, this wine is lightened by the feel of the coastal winds, while deepened by a drape of velvet-black tannins. The black-pepper spice scent draws you in, but you'll have to wait a few years for the wine to emerge from its tannins and deliver on that promise.
—Josh Greene, April 2023
These wines have refreshing sensibilities (juicy, mouth-watering, mineral) but are also complex enough to please even the fussiest wine connoisseur.
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Crafted from 100% old vine carignan cultivated in the cooler climate of Mendocino. Mouthwatering notes of watermelon, white peach and citrus zest keep this one juicy and crisp in the glass.
—Katie Kelly Bell, August 2023
San Francisco Chronicle
Disco Ranch in Anderson Valley: It’s one of California’s best wine shops
Paisley-clad Disco Ranch owner Wendy Lamer engages with customers at her beloved Boonville wine shop, which some people travel hours to visit. Disco Ranch celebrates small, local producers, most of which don’t have a tasting room. Lamer isn’t shy about her favorites, which include... Mendocino’s Minus Tide.
—Jess Lander, April 2023
While we’re on the subject of Pinot Noir, Minus Tide sent along their latest vintage of their Manchester Ridge bottling, which offered a really lovely combination of savory and fruit character, with the energy of the cooler reaches of Mendocino County.
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - Around 9 Points
Light to medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of raspberry and raspberry leaf. In the mouth, bright raspberry and green herb flavors mix with a hint of road dust and a touch of red apple skin. Bright and juicy with a lovely faint tannic grip and lovely savory notes lingering in the finish. Excellent acidity. 
—Alder Yarrow, December 2023
Food & Wine
Whether produced as a varietally labeled wine or as part of a blend, Syrah is capable of greatness.
Syrah offers profoundly delicious wine-drinking experiences across the entire stylistic spectrum: Whether you prefer more fruit-forward and generous red wines or savory, spicy, and meaty ones – or both! – Syrah (or Shiraz) will satisfy.
Five Great Syrah Wines
These producers, listed alphabetically, are a perfect way to start exploring all that Syrah has to offer.
Minus Tide
From their base in Philo, California, Minus Tide has been gaining real traction over the past few years. No wonder: Their wines, which range from Carignan rosé to Chardonnay and beyond, are thoughtful and detailed. Two current-release single-vineyard Syrahs, both from Mendocino Ridge, embody this. The 2019 Valenti Vineyard bottling is pure peppercorn on the nose which precedes a bright, energetic palate of red fruit and more peppercorns, with lingering notes reminiscent of blood oranges and iron through the balanced, mouthwatering finish. The 2019 Perli Vineyard is more perfumed, with flowers and crushed blueberries on the nose setting the stage for flavors of cherries, huckleberries, and a grace note of jasmine that finds excellent tension alongside hints of dry-aged beef.

—Brian Freedman, September 2022 

Hemispheres Magazine - United Airlines
Blushing Beauties
These days, American winemakers are using all sorts of grapes to produce rosés, which take their light color from the juice being briefly left on the skins following the crush. Here are six single-varietal pink wines from across the country to enjoy this summer.
2021 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Mendocino’s Minus Tide Wines works with environmentally friendly vineyards to produce minimum-intervention bottlings, such as this 2021 carignan, which features old-vine, dry-farmed grapes pressed whole-cluster and fermented with native yeast. Pacific Ocean salinity and white peach notes are among the appealing characteristics of this crisp yet juicy wine.
—Justin Goldman, July 2022
The New Wine Review
Anderson Valley Dispatch
California's Anderson Valley is one of the world's top regions—and its future will only get brighter.
Minus Tide makes wine from a broader swath of Mendocino, most notably Mendocino Ridge, but the team of Kyle Jeffrey and Brad and Miriam Jonas live in, and make their wines in, Anderson Valley.
—Virginie Boone, March 2024
Mendocino Ridge: Regional Profile and the Wines to Buy
Zinfandel defined Mendocino Ridge for a century. But today Burgundian varieties thrive in this uniquely non-contiguous Californian AVA, formed of 24 peaks reaching up to 800m altitude. Jonathan Cristaldi takes a trip and picks out 19 top wines to try.
Originally part of the North Coast and Mendocino County AVAs, it is the harbinger of a small, but growing faction of grape growers who see its rugged, unruly and treacherous terrain as the frontier of a special coastal terroir capable of producing an eminently graceful and ageworthy style of northern California wine – for both whites and reds.
Compared to other high-elevation AVAs like Fort Ross-Seaview, West Sonoma Coast or the Santa Cruz Mountains, oceanic influence on the Mendocino Ridge AVA is distinct.
Noteworthy Vineyards
Manchester Ridge, Perli, Valenti
Notable Producers
Minus Tide
Mendocino Ridge: 19 wines to try from this unique AVA
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 94 Points
From a 609m ridgetop vineyard perched 5.6km from the Pacific Ocean. Winemakers Kyle Jeffrey and Brad Jonas employ native yeast fermentation and whole-cluster pressing to their Wente Clone Chardonnay. A mere 56 cases produced. Lovely aromas of lemon curd, caramelised apples, pear, salted lemon peel and apricot jam. Has great mineral tension with tangy, bright acidity. Finishes long with honeycomb and honeysuckle notes.
2019 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 93 Points
Co-owned by Brad and Miriam Jonas and Kyle Jeffrey. Restrained yet complex aromas of bramble, raspberry, pepper, rose, cedar and cured meat. The mineral palate is layered with blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate, with zesty blood orange acidity and a long finish. 50% whole clusters used, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
—Jonathan Cristaldi, May 2022
Delicious Diversity: Tasting the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wines
Put on by Wine & Spirits Magazine, the tasting is a showcase of (most, but not all) the wineries that have made the magazine’s annual list of Top 100 Wineries around the world.’s certainly hard to deny the quality of the wines on offer at this particular tasting, which inevitably, is one of the best public wine tastings held all year in San Francisco.
Red Wines With a Score Around 9:
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
2018 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
2018 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
—Alder Yarrow, October 2023
Wine Enthusiast
2020 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 92 Points, Editors' Choice
Delicate on the nose, this crisp Chardonnay truly comes alive on the palate with vivacity. A wonderfully smooth texture on the palate is pierced by a zing of acidity and closes with just a subtle touch of phenolic grip. Enjoy notes of lemon, lime, green apple, apple blossom, wet stone, cut grass and Marcona almond—all lingering during the lengthy finish.
—Stacy Briscoe, October 2023
Wine & Spirits
2020 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 91 Points
Sweet, sour and bold, this chardonnay is bursting at the seams, like a pineapple grenade. Somehow it holds in all that exuberance, in a way that Tastings Editor Corey Warren found "stylized and confident."
—Josh Greene, October 2023
Disco Ranch is Nor-Cal's One-Stop-Shop for Affordable Local Wine Gems
Wendy Lamer is the most unpretentious wine genius you’ll ever meet. Don’t let her casual nature fool you: She knows all the stories about each wine on her shelves — what soil it grew in, who made it, and what you should cook to eat with it.
In addition to a curated selection of European wines, Lamer has a whole section in her small shop devoted to local wines, and I recently asked her to list her top 10 wineries from the Anderson Valley (and Mendocino County’s other nearby AVAs) that are so small they don’t have tasting rooms. These are the hardworking artisans of wine whose bottles you won’t see on restaurant menus or city shelves. They’re all as minimal-intervention as possible, from full-on biodynamic to made with native yeasts. Collectively, they have the character of terroir-driven wines that speak of this peaceful place.
Minus Tide
“The wonderful threesome that met in college went on to see their dream realized, which inspired me to do the same. It was my business model to focus on small wineries that did not have a tasting room. The quality and price point were exactly what I was looking for. I am now on their third vintage of Pinot Noir, and it’s still my top seller. Look for Minus Tide’s Carignan rosé from Feliz Creek Vineyard’s 114-year-old vines.”

—Kim Westerman, February 2022 

Wine Enthusiast
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 92 Points, Hidden Gem
This bottling is bright with ripe red and black fruit, jellied cranberry, black cherry, citrus rind, blood orange and talcum. It has a long finish. The Pinot Noir you didn’t know you needed.
2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 90 Points
This wine offers deeply concentrated blackberry and blue fruits, along with lots of texture from earth, clay and mineral. There is so much going on and everything is still developing. Drink or hold until 2030.
—Tonya Pitts, April 2024
Food & Wine
17 Off-the-Beaten-Path California Reds

California offers so much more than its most familiar grape varieties and blends: The elegant spiciness of a well-made Cabernet Franc; the finesse-driven, red-toned vibrato of a juicy Mourvèdre; lively examples of Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache. All of these and more offer a spate of off-the-beaten-path reds worth seeking out. 

The list of 17 wines below showcases the abundance of unique reds that California is capable of producing, along with a few under-the-radar classics, too. 
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan
Get ready for a trip to the south of France, told through the eyes of Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas, and Miriam Jonas, co-owners of the uber-small production Minus Tide wines, including this Carignan. Jeffrey says that Carignan is one of the heritage varieties of Mendocino County, and their grape source at Feliz Creek Vineyard is among the oldest, with vines dating back to 1908. Florals such as rose petals and violets join thinly sliced saucisson sec, black olives, and white pepper. Soft, silken dark fruit rides along a salty finish. Pair this with cured meats and a hearty cassoulet.  

—Jonathan Cristaldi, March 2022 

Wine Enthusiast
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 93 Points: Excellent; highly recommended
A relatively light color leads to haunting earth, toast and oak-spice aromas in this rather lean and nicely complex wine from a hilltop vineyard. Mint and basil add to black cherry and black tea on a tangy, appropriately tannic texture. Fermentation included 50% whole clusters and native yeast.
—Jim Gordon, October 2022
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 93 Points: Excellent; highly recommended
This sleek, almost spare wine, has an edgy expression from nervy acidity and a rather light body that accompanies violets, sour cherries and black pepper flavors that are fascinating to savor. An earthy, tobacco-like nuance develops on the palate and lingers on the finish.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - 91 Points: Excellent; highly recommended
One of the heritage varieties in California, this robust Carignan stands out for its potent, focused black fruits, hints of wood smoke, tobacco and leather, all wrapped in moderate tannins for a structure that should help it age. Best through 2028.
—Jim Gordon, December 2022


2020 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay - 93 Points
Aromatics of lemon verbena, oyster shell and Cara Cara orange pith mark this Chardonnay from Manchester Ridge Vineyard in the Mendocino Ridge at 620m. The dry-farmed vines and ample elevation produce wines of concentration and lift. The close proximity to the Pacific marks the palate with a seafoam salinity followed on by lemon curd, a savoury sweet grass note and tons of saline minerality to finish.
—Clive Pursehouse, July 2023
Once I think I have experienced all the beauty that a tiny producer like Minus Tide Wines can express with precious multi-generational vineyards in Mendocino, California, I get sent new wines that just blow me away with how they can express the multilayered nuances of these unique plots of land.
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir from the Manchester Ridge Vineyard that is located at a 2,000 ft. elevation just 3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean; dry farmed so produces small clusters with concentrated flavor and high acidity. A wildness to this wine that I love with aromas of forest floor, morels and wildflowers that dance in one's head with unbridled passion that is just mouthwateringly delicious with a stunning purity of red cherry flavor. Only 193 cases were made.

2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
100% Syrah from Valenti Vineyard which is located between 1,300 to 1,600 ft., six miles from the Pacific Ocean. Cooling coastal influences allow the grapes to slowly ripen, bringing more complexity, elegance and retaining bright acidity. The fantastic mingling of red strawberries with a touch of black pepper and just a hint of basil on the nose lets one know that they are about to taste a very special wine that becomes extremely delectable with a mid-palate plushiness with cassis and black raspberry liqueur flavors that are lifted by elegantly sculpted tannins and invigorated by marked acidity. Only 87 cases were made.
—Cathrine Todd (of Forbes), January 2024
Wine & Spirits
Year's Best US Syrah & Rhône Varieties
2018 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 93 Points, Best Buy: Exciting; Distinctive; A wine that transcends simple typicality to its region or variety —a vivid, singular expression of place.
Brad Jonas, a coastal Mendocino native, is the assistant winemaker at Toulouse Vineyards in Anderson Valley. His wife and partner, Miriam Pitt, handles wine accounts at J.A.M. PR. And Kyle Jeffrey, their partner in Minus Tide, is winemaker at Woods Beer and Wine in San Francisco. The three met at Cal Poly, began making wine together in 2015 and launched Minus Tide in 2017. Jeffrey and Jonas make this syrah from Valenti, a vineyard planted in 2001 on the uplift of an ancient seabed six miles from the contemporary Pacific. They ferment the fruit spontaneously, with a lot of the clusters intact (75 percent), then age it in neutral French oak, presenting a bright and lively syrah. It starts with a faithful reproduction of the coastal stink of that marginal site before that reduction blows off and the scent turns toward fresh thyme, orange blossoms and forest mushrooms. The savory fruit hints at Kalamata olives underscored by smoky mineral tannins. Delicious if you decant it now, this will benefit from a year or two of rest in your cellar.  
—Josh Greene, February 2021

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson on California’s New-wave Wines
Forget the expensive Napa Cabernets and the mass-market brands, there are gems in the middle price bracket
…But, in fact, California’s vitality and excitement lie neither at the top nor the bottom of the price scale, but in the lower middle where there is a much, much wider range of grape varieties, styles and appellations than there were 10 years ago.
They are typically produced by young, dynamic, innovative and independent winemakers. And that, I hope, is where California’s wine future lies.
Recommended new-wave California wines
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay 
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan 
Jancis Robinson, June 2020

San Francisco Chronicle
The Flight of Spring: Rosés & Whites
A crop of crisp and delicious wines debuts
Rosé loves grilled and smoky flavors, and can be a refreshing antidote to fatty foods — precisely why it harmonizes so well with all kinds of charcuterie, and by extension pepperoni pizza. It’s beautiful with seafood, and can often absorb some heat; I enjoyed Minus Tide’s rosé of Carignan with a spicy cioppino I made last weekend.

Here are some rosés that have been keeping me going over the last couple weeks.
What I’m drinking
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
From 112-year-old Carignan vines, this lean, acid-driven rosé tastes like a just-ripe peach, with lots of red berry notes, and smells like lavender and wet stones. It achieves lots of flavor in a very delicate frame.
—Esther Mobley, May 2020
The 50 Best Wines Under $50
Picking my annual 50 under $50 list was extremely difficult this year. There are more delicious value wines than ever from around the globe. And I should know: I sampled a couple thousand of them in 2020.
Rosé for All Seasons
Full-flavored dry pink wines for savoring alone or with food
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Three 28-year-olds founded this winery in Mendocino in 2017, and their wines are delicious, especially this dry, salty rosé made from 112-year-old carignan vines. 
—Elin McCoy, December 2020
2022 Minus Tide Carignan Rosé Bottleshot20 US rosés to beat the heat
Pink wines have never been cooler
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé – 92 Points
A fuller-bodied rosé that balances a ripeness with fresh minerality and sweet fruit. This rosé is showy and perhaps fancies itself a Bandol. From vines planted in 1908, this pink shows aromas of watermelon jolly rancher, sweet cherry blossom florals and a note of sea breeze. The palate is complex and leans towards the opulent for a rosé. Bold flavours of sweet cherry cut watermelon and strawberry cream.
—Clive Pursehouse, August 2023
Food & Wine
33 Rosés to Drink All Summer Long
I tasted more than 120 rosés in researching this piece, and was struck not just by the diversity of styles and flavor profiles, but also by the exceptional quality to be found at every price imaginable… and from all over the world, from France, Italy, and New Zealand to California, Oregon, Texas, and beyond.

I’ve included bottles here that are wildly popular and priced to be enjoyed any day of the week, as well as rosés that rise to Grand Cru Burgundy levels of price and collectibility. There is a rosé out there for everyone. Which is a beautiful thing, because these days, all of us could use a glassful of the kind of unselfconscious joy that great rosé so reliably provides.

Here are 33 of my favorites.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Fantastic acidity and concentration: The mid-palate bursts with bright, wild red berry fruit and a suggestion of flowers, but it’s the finish that remains in the memory most powerfully, with pink peppercorns, jasmine, and orange oils. Keep an eye on this producer: You’ll be hearing more about their wines in the future.
—Brian Freedman, May 2020
The Press Democrat
15 California wines that are worthy of your tax refund
When properly vetted, even budget wines can taste like nectar of the Gods.
Tax splurge-worthy wines: 5 wines $60 and under
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 4 Stars
An earthy pinot with notes of black cherry, mushroom and savory herbs. Well crafted.
—Peg Melnik, April 2024
Start a Wine Collection with These Amazing and Affordable Wines
You don’t need a wine cellar and a collecting habit to drink well—the wine world is a grand and fabulous place abundant with delicious deals. Wines that taste world-class, are suited to aging and in some cases boast a noble pedigree are within reach; one just needs to ask the right questions. I look to sommeliers and smaller owner-operated wine retailers for their intel on wines that are overlooked or have great fruit but are not the showy first label bottlings—and I always ask about what they have stashed at home. You’ll love these suggestions below as much for their taste as for their price. Below are my top eight so far this year.
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir 
A lovely, elegant pinot noir grown in Mendocino—a less showy wine region with loads of potential. Suffused with notes of sour cherry, spice and earth this wine showcases the magic that can be achieved from cool climate viticulture. It’s the passion project of Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas, and Miriam Pitt,—whose shared goal is to “make wines we love to drink and that pair well with food, so they tend to be high in acid and low in alcohol.” They work exclusively with sustainable and organic vineyards, most of which are also dry farmed. You’ll get world-class purity of expression and the vibrancy of a cool climate wine for $
—Katie Kelly Bell, September 2020
Wine & Spirits
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé - 91 Points: Delicious, Compelling; A compelling wine of its region; a delicious, finessed expression of a place.
Wendy Fetzer organically farms these bush vines in Hopland, then Kyle Jeffrey and Brad Jonas direct-press the fruit and let it ferment spontaneously in stainless steel tanks. The wine is mineral-forward, with a soft touch of salinity before pale-red cherry flavors come up from underneath and last. Tastings Editor Corey Warren, who covered a lot of rosé for this issue, liked how vinous this one tastes: “It feels like wine, and it feels like carignane.”
—Josh Greene, June 2023
Karen MacNeil's WineSpeed
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé 
Lots of southern French rosés are made from Carignan, and this one from Mendocino, California, is terrific. Light, zesty, and super refreshing, it’s spicy, minerally, peppery and full of wild cherry notes.
—Karen MacNeil, July 2023
New-wave California
...Obviously I did not have time or energy to taste all 500 wines so had to choose producers who seemed to me to represent the most exciting new wave of California, together with a few old friends who have been producing lighter, fresher wine for ages.
Minus Tide
This relatively new enterprise – first official vintage 2017 – was started up by Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas and Miriam Pitt, who met at Cal Poly. Kyle and Brad were studying winemaking in 2010. They specialise in wines grown in Brad's native Mendocino, including the oft-overlooked Mendocino Ridge close to the ocean. The name is inspired by the super-low tide that Brad would encounter that is particularly good for harvesting seafood. All three have separate day jobs in wine. Kyle works at a natural winery and brewery on Treasure Island. Brad makes wine for Toulouse winery in Philo, Anderson Valley, where they make their wine. And Miriam does PR for wineries on the west coast including Spottswoode. They don’t own any vines but all grapes are Mendocino… all but the Syrah is dry farmed. All native yeast and French oak. Total annual production is only about 600 cases but I was impressed by the quality.
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - 17: Superior
100% Carignan. The red expression of their delicious rosé. In 2017 they did 100% carbonic maceration with the aim of making a light, juicy red, but 40% carbonic maceration in this 2018. Pressed pretty early, to avoid too much tannin. This smells a bit more recognisable as Carignan. Quite a bit of freshness and a fruity core. Not mean but with marked acidity. Silky texture. Quite obviously natural but not excessively so. Well done. A very good Carignan. Quite good length. Drink 2019 – 2022
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 17: Superior
100% Chardonnay. Vineyard is nine miles from the coast at 2,600 ft. The second-highest vineyard in the county. Mendocino Ridge is an AVA for the land above 1,200 ft, so-called ‘islands in the sky’ because the land is above the fog line. The vineyard belongs to Dan Dooling, who planted Pinot as long ago as 1979. It was almost all Zinfandel before. Chardonnay went in in the mid 1980s. Fermented and aged in neutral French oak puncheons. A little lees stirring in the first two months. Mendocino Ridge fruit can be very high in malic acid so they didn’t want to overdo it. Acids at picking are far higher than textbook would allow (picked at pH 3.1). Picked mid September during a heatwave. Spontaneous malo finished during the 2018 harvest! So total SO2 is about 40 ppm – none before bottling. Slightly cloudy – unfiltered. Quite rich and savoury but not sweet. Good tension. Very neat. More body than many Sonoma Coast Chardonnays. Drink 2019 – 2024
2018 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 16.5++ : Distinguished
100% Chardonnay. This vineyard is 3.5 miles from the coast and you can see and hear Manchester below. Fermented in neutral puncheons. 11% new oak – a half-barrel. Picked 24 September. Deep greenish gold. Spicy notes. But actually the green-fruit flavours and acidity are more marked than in the 2017 Mariah Vineyard. Partly because of the vintage presumably. Drink 2021 – 2025
2018 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 16.5: Distinguished
100% Syrah. First vintage. One of the coolest Syrah vineyards, planted in 1998 six miles from the coast at 1,300–1,600 ft. A vineyard that can ripen at 19 to 20 Brix. Picked 30 October! Very cool site. Just 2 acres of Syrah in a Pinot and Chardonnay vineyard. 75% whole bunch. Aged in neutral French oak. Smells of ripe Syrah. A little bit of rotundone but smooth and juicy. Lots of sweet fruit. Finishes dry. Not too austere. Drink 2020 – 2024
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé - 16.5: Distinguished, VGV: Very Good Value
100% Carignan. Second vintage from 112-year-old, dry-farmed, head-trained, 7-ft tall vines in a cooler part of Hopland on an old riverbed. They pick the fruit a second time for the red. Minerality from the soil, they hope. Root systems presumably enormous. Surrounded by more fashionable varieties. Carignan grape price has almost doubled in five years. Very pale salmon colour. The grapes sat in the press for about an hour. Very pretty and with a nice balance of acid and fruit and a good dry finish. Pretty and perfumed. I don’t think I could tell this was a Carignan, if tasted blind. Drink 2019 – 2021
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 16: Distinguished
100% Pinot Noir. From Dan Dooling. 35% whole bunch, neutral barrels. Hand punchdowns in small bins. 17 days on skins. Picked the same day as the Chardonnay in mid September. 10 months’ ageing. Probably grafted-over old vines. From a hot year. 116 °F at the winery. Very fruity nose. Winemaker Brad Jonas says Mendocino Ridge Pinot is more savoury than, for instance, Anderson Valley, though to me this wine is predominantly fruity. Very clean and direct. Good fruity core. Probably not for very long ageing. Drink 2019 – 2022
—Jancis Robinson, June 2020
Some fun bottles I’ve enjoyed over the past month or so.
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Pinot Noir
—Jess Lander (of the San Francisco Chronicle), December 2023
The Press Democrat
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah - 4 Stars
A zesty syrah with notes of blackberry and cassis, with an undercurrent of spice.
—Peg Melnik, November 2023
Nob Hill Gazette
From the redwood forests of beautiful Anderson Valley to the sun-splashed hills of Paso Robles, in California’s North Coast and Central Coast AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), the excitement around this harvest season is palpable. While wineries and wine drinkers alike still have to wait a few years to learn how this 2023 vintage turns out, it’s already a certainty that fall is a fantastic time for a visit to the vines. In addition to excellent wineries, a spectrum of notable new hotels, destination-worthy restaurants and unique events beckon in Mendocino County...
Bay Area wine travelers are often so focused on the tasting rooms of Sonoma and Napa counties that they often don’t venture farther north to the next county. But that appears to be changing, with Mendocino wineries increasingly getting much-deserved attention
Mendocino County
While you’re in Boonville, visit the cheerful Disco Ranch wine bar and store to learn about some of the eminent Mendocino County wineries without a tasting room, like Minus Tide and..."
—Trevor Felch, October 2023

Minus Tide
Minus Tide is a new winery founded by Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas and his wife Miriam Pitt. Jeffrey and Jonas met at Cal Poly and serve today as co-winemakers. The current focus is on Mendocino wines and its cool climate characteristics.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Light orange/blush; aromas of fresh orange and red currant. Medium-bodied, this is tasty with a pleasant freshness and good acidity. The finish is off-dry, with just a hint of sweetness. Drink over the next 12-18 months. Very Good
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir 
Deep young garnet; aromas of bing and black cherry, marjoram and orange peel. Medium-full with very good concentration, this is spicy Pinot Noir with notes of cinnamon and baking spice, along with very good varietal ripeness, good acidity and medium-weight tannins. Enjoy now with roast pork or lighter game birds; peak drinking in 5-7 years. Excellent
—Tom Hyland, June 2020

Robb Report

26 Stellar Rosés to Welcome the Warmer Months
Today, dry rosé is an all-gender, warm-weather favorite the world over. 

One after another in our tasting proved beautifully balanced between ripe fruit and lively acidity, managing that delicate dance with grace and elegance.

We’ve concentrated on West Coast bottles here... any one of these beauties will make you forget continental dreams with the first sip.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Another of California’s rare Carignan rosés, this Minus Tide comes from one of Mendocino’s ancient (100+-year-old), head-pruned vineyards. Alive and brimming with character, the pale wine opens with perfumed and spicy potpourri aromas, followed by a bushel of red fruit—cherry and raspberry—layered with peach and almond melba notes.
—Sara Schneider, May 2020

Haute Living San Francisco

Rosés Over Which to Rhapsodize
Here are some of our current favorites:
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
Named after the very low tides that expose hidden gems of the sea, Minus Tide was founded by a trio of 2007 Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo grads who focus on elegant, balanced wines that showcase the distinct, coastal, and rustic vineyards of Mendocino, California. This mineral-driven, dry Rosé, made from old-vine Carignan fruit, features a delicious, mouthwatering acidity and ocean-breeze salinity, making it a natural pairing to shellfish and other seafoods. The founders, who firmly believe that Rosé is meant for year-round enjoyment, also love it with pizza, barbecue, and even Thanksgiving dinner.
—Fran Endicott Miller, June 2023 

The Press Democrat

Wine of the Week
The 2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé, Mendocino County comes from 115-year-old vines.

A historic vineyard dating back to 1908 is what makes our wine of the week a standout.

The Minus Tide, 2022 Carignan Rosé hails from the Feliz Creek Vineyard, which is not irrigated. That means the 115-year-old vines are forced to reach deep into the soil for water, according to Brad Jonas and Kyle Jeffrey, co-owners and co-winemakers of the brand.

“This results in a rosé with intense concentration, excellent minerality, physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels and a hint of salinity that we love,” Jonas said.

With notes of watermelon and honeydew, the $27 rosé finishes crisp, with a hint of strawberry. It’s impressive from start to finish.

The carignan varietal originated in France’s Rhone Valley, but it’s also considered a heritage grape of Mendocino County, Jeffrey said.

“Carignan holds onto its acidity and when it has the flavor ripeness we want, the acid is usually perfect,” he said. “What we didn’t know when we started working with Feliz Creek is how consistently the vineyard would deliver such delicious results.”

Of course, timing is pivotal, Jonas said.

“There are three things that are critical to making a great rosé: achieving ripeness of flavor, ideal acidity and extracting just the right amount of color while pressing the grapes,” Jonas said. “All those require precise timing and harvesting the fruit when all these variables are aligned. This can come down to a 24-hour window and can be quite challenging.”

Founded in 2017, Minus Tide only crafts wines from grapes grown in Mendocino County. It produces about 700 cases a year. In addition to carignan rosé, the lineup includes chardonnay, pinot noir, carignan and cool-climate syrah.

The brand’s name evokes the feeling of the Mendocino Coast and refers to the very low tides that expose hidden gems of the sea, like abalone.

For Jonas and Jeffrey — both 34 — the Minus Tide label is a side project. Jeffrey’s day job is winemaker at Woods Beer and Wine Co. in San Francisco. Jonas’ day job is assistant winemaker at Toulouse Vineyards in Philo.

The two met in college, at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and in 2010 made their first wine — a Paso Robles syrah — as a home winemaking project.

When developing Minus Tide, Jonas and Jeffrey were both keen on making a dry rosé.

“Kyle and I have been making rosé since the very beginning of our winemaking careers, so we know what a difference it makes to pick the fruit specifically for rosé,” Jonas said.

“We always strive to make a delicious, food-friendly, dry rosé with high natural acidity,” Jeffrey added. “It’s our go-to wine in the summer, and thanks to its complexity, we enjoy drinking it all year-round.”

2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé, Mendocino County 4.5 stars
—Peg Melnik, June 2023

Minus Tide rosé a match for seafood, bahn mi and much more 
Go easy with simple summertime nibbles paired with our wine of the week.
Our wine of the week, 2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé, Mendocino County ($27), is a delicate beauty, as refreshing as river rocks splashed with cool water. This wet-stone quality suggests watermelon rind right before it merges into red fruit. As you bring a glass to your mouth, there’s a sense of being near the sea, with a briny breeze enveloping you in a halo of mist. These beautiful mineral notes are interspersed with flavors of white peach, green honeydew melon and watermelon.

It is delightful and delightfully drinkable. Even the wine’s label, with its abalone shell on a wooden plank, is engaging.

At the table, there are many potential matches, especially as summer unfolds. Watermelon salads, grilled peaches with burrata, shrimp tostadas with radish vinaigrette and a classic shrimp Louis coax even more beautiful notes from the wine than you might detect on first sip. Salmon with just a spritz of lemon is a fabulous match, as is Dungeness crab when it’s in season.
—Michele Anna Jordan, June 2023
10 best Mendocino County rosés to sip this summer
We tasted 30 Mendocino County rosés and selected the most delicious wines for any occasion.

For fans of organic (and French) everything

2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé
A project of Miriam Jonas (J.A.M. PR) and winemakers Brad Jonas (Toulouse Vineyards) and Kyle Jeffrey (Woods Beer & Wine Co.), Minus Tide produces lower alcohol wines from organic, family-owned, dry-farmed vineyards. This salmon -colored rosé was produced from 115-year-old carignan vines in Hopland. The wine’s lovely watermelon notes and mouthwatering acid transported us to the south of France, where we imagined sipping delicate rosés all day at cafes along the French Riviera.
Sarah Stierch, July 2023
 The twinkle lights are lit…time for holiday wine. These here from @minustidewines would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table. Minus Tide was founded by a trio of 2011 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grads-Brad and Miriam Jonas, and Kyle Jeffrey. Their balanced wines showcase the coastal and rustic vineyards of Mendocino. Each of the trio has a day job, so this winery is their passion project. Long work days, evenings and weekends are made worth it by the joy their wines bring to family, friends, and collectors. 
2021 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
2021 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
—Fran Endicott Miller, November 2023
There’s another rosé in the lineup this week I can recommend, from the small producer Minus Tide Wines. It’s a rosé of Carignan from Mendocino County, and just what you might want on a hot day.
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Light baby pink in the glass, this wine smells of cherries and candied plums. In the mouth, silky flavors of cherry and plum mix with citrus peel and a touch of white flowers. Very good acidity. Crisp and clean.
—Alder Yarrow, August 2023
2022 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
A rosé wine made from Carignan sourced from 115-year-old vines in Mendocino County, California, for only $27. Wow, wow, wow!!!
2022 Minus Tide @minustidewines Feliz Creek Vineyard, Carignan Rosé, Mendocino, California: 100% Carignan from 115-year-old vines from a vineyard that is dry-farmed, organically managed and family-owned. A stunning salmon pinkish color with aromas of strawberry sorbet, wet stones and citrus blossom that completely delights with raspberry coulis flavors on the palate with hints of seashells and a salined-laced, dry finish with fresh acidity. Just a fantastic wine that will up your rosé game for not that much money! Only 153 cases were produced.
Minus Tide was started by three people who have other day jobs, two are winemakers at other companies, and two are a wife and husband team, and so, it is really a passion project during their downtime. They are all about bringing a spotlight to family-owned vineyards that are truly hidden gems that are managed with love and care, and this Feliz Creek Vineyard is a great example of what they are all about.
—Cathrine Todd (of Forbes), June 2023

2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - 92 Points: Excellent; highly recommended
Vivid black cherry and sour cherry flavors power this well-balanced, lightly tannic wine, giving it a sense of precision and purity, with little noticeable oak influence to get in the way. 
2019 Minus Tide Buddha's Dharma Vineyard Mendocino Chenin Blanc - 90 Points: Excellent; highly recommended
This technically light-bodied wine is creamy in texture, hefty in mouthfeel and yet nicely balanced by some tangy lemon and crisp apple flavors to complement its butter and vanilla notes.
—Jim Gordon, November 2021

2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 4 stars
Tangy red fruit meets bright acid. Nice length. Pretty.
—Peg Melnik, February 2023
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 4 stars
A well-crafted chardonnay with aromas and flavors of melon, pear, apple and mineral. Nice balance and a lingering finish.
—Peg Melnik, October 2022
Discovery You Can Taste
Minus Tide Makes Wine with a Coastal, Community Focus
When the moon pulls the ocean farthest from shore, the result is known as a “minus tide,” because nature is revealing, not concealing. Tide pools, kelp gardens, shellfish colonies, and other wonders appear and delight us. Minus Tide Wines recreates that experience in a glass, revealing the flavors of hidden vineyards tucked into expressive microclimates in Mendocino County—from sun-baked inland valleys to wind-blown coastal ridges.
Minus Tide’s founders were college students when they met in the coastal town of San Luis Obispo in 2007. Kyle Jeffrey and Brad Jonas were studying winemaking and wine-growing, while Miriam Pitt was studying tourism and wine marketing. Though they dreamed of launching a winery one day, they parted ways at graduation, keeping in touch while becoming professionals in their fields. One fateful day in 2017, they met for lunch at the Inn at School-house Creek near Mendocino village where Brad grew up. “We walked in with our old dream of launching a winery,” he recalls, “but this time we came out with a plan.”
They based their winery in Anderson Valley, where Brad and Miriam lived together, hosting Kyle on his frequent visits from San Francisco or Los Angeles, where he was honing his skills in wine sales. Without deep pockets or their own vineyards, they scoured Mendocino for great grapes at affordable prices, rented space at Toulouse Vineyards to make their wine, and then focused sales on local outlets and restaurants in the Bay Area and L.A.
The Minus Tide philosophy is about finding choice vineyards, not vinifying specific grape varieties. The lesser-known Carignan variety was an early hit, coming from the inland area of Feliz Creek. It makes both red wine and rosé. Syrah, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir soon joined the lineup, sourced from vineyards on the western ridges above Anderson Valley. Flavors are ripe yet alcohols are refreshingly low. The winery tends to cellar its reds longer than other producers, so the wine is more integrated and refined on release.
Production is still small at under 1,000 cases, yet Minus Tide has quickly gained an outsized reputation among local restaurants and wine sellers. “It’s our top-selling wine brand,” says Wendy Lamer, proprietor of Boonville gourmet retailer Disco Ranch. “The wine is great on its own and amazing with food.” Major wine critics are now spreading the word, recommending the wines to international audiences.
Surviving, let alone succeeding, as a small winery is more easily said than done, but Minus Tide’s team brings optimism, energy, and strong alignment to their shared passion. “We all agreed that being part of the local food and wine community was important to us,” Miriam explains. “Obviously we need to sell far and wide, but we wanted our friends, visitors, and local businesses to be able to taste and pour our wines.”
The founders also aligned around the foundation of their enterprise: exceptional vineyards. “We want to have so much confidence in the grapes we get that we can do one of the hardest things for a winemaker—which is doing very little,” Kyle explains. “That’s why we focus on vineyards where the flavors and balance are grown right into the fruit.”
That light-touch winemaking Kyle refers to is evident in the wines, which offer the silky textures and bright acids that make wine a natural match for food. These qualities explain why so many Mendocino restaurants offer Minus Tide wines: the Carignan rosé, for example, pairs as well with a robust carnitas tostada as it does with a delicately poached fish. Restaurants also appreciate the responsive service from the winery. “We don’t have a tasting room,” Miriam points out, “so we go out of our way to keep our local purveyors well stocked.”
All this hard work and hustle takes time, which is why people are routinely surprised to discover that all three founders have day jobs. Kyle is winemaker for San Francisco-based Woods Beer & Wine Co., Brad is assistant winemaker at Toulouse Vineyards in Philo, and Miriam—who designed and illustrated the wine labels—works for Berkeley-based J.A.M. Public Relations.
“We give up personal time for Minus Tide,” Kyle admits, “but this is how we express ourselves artistically. This is how we show people how great the wine from Mendocino can be.” The team also believes that they don’t need to own a lot of infrastructure if they have a strong, supportive community. “We have great relationships with our growers,” Brad says. “We are so fortunate and grateful that we can make our wine at Toulouse. Our suppliers and customers really want us to succeed. The word of mouth has been incredible.”
Like healthy grapevines, the Minus Tide team has continued to sink deeper roots. Brad and Miriam married up on Navarro Ridge in 2019 and bought a house in Boonville in 2021. Their son, Luca, will celebrate his first birthday in November. Kyle can be spotted playing disc golf with friends and pouring at local events. With every passing month, more people discover the meaning of “minus tide” from the winery that lives up to its name.
—Thom Elkjer, September 2022
2019 Minus Tide Buddha's Dharma Vineyard Mendocino Chenin Blanc - 93 Points
This white is sourced from an organic and dry-farmed 76-year-old vineyard owned by the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a Buddhist monastery. With its sense of sunshine and authenticity, it brings to mind a Buddhist quote: "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." It possesses a flinty nature; racy acidity; and notes of fresh linen and white flower petals that are delicately lined with peach and pine nut.
—Meridith May, July/August 2021
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - 91 Points
The use of 40% carbonic maceration offers a high-toned appeal to this juicy, bright red. Carignan is known as one of the heritage varieties of Mendocino County, and this dry-farmed, head-trained organic vineyard was planted in 1908. Aromas of red flowers, milk chocolate, and Rooibos tea are cheerful. On the palate, white pepper sparks tart cherry and blueberries. Tongue coating herbs and red licorice come to light mid-way with a parade of beets, basil and mountain brush following.
—Meridith May, September/October 2021
2021 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino County Carignan Rosé - 4 stars
A striking rosé with layered notes of watermelon, pomegranate and white peach. Great minerality. Refreshingly dry and light on its feet.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino County Carignan - 4 stars
Ripe black raspberry jam meets great minerality with this carignan. Notes of sage and pepper in the mix. Supple tannins. Well-crafted.
High-end Pinot Noir
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - 4 stars
A supple pinot with savory notes coupled with tangy fruit. It has aromas and flavors of cranberry, plum and dried herbs. Buoyed by crisp acidity, it has great balance and finishes with a kiss of pomegranate.
—Peg Melnik, July/August 2022
The third rosé on offer is the work of a tiny little project between three young college friends named Minus Tide. Recently begun, this little label is making some lovely, restrained wines that showcase fruit from Mendocino County. Their rosé of Carignan has a lovely sour-cherry tanginess that I really enjoyed. The trio also sent through their Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir, which was quite tasty, especially for anyone (like me) who enjoys some of Pinot Noir’s more secondary aromas that emerge with some time.
This past week included some more new releases from  Minus Tide, the tiny operation run by three college friends in Mendocino County... I got more excited about their crunchy Carignan and their two distinctly cool-climate Syrahs, which both sported lovely white pepper spice aromatics.
2019 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah  - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of meaty black cherry and blackberry. In the mouth, smoked meats and dried flowers mix with blackberry and blueberry flavors that are shot through with green herbs. Decidedly savory and very aromatic with excellent acidity. On the lean side, but quite tasty. 
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah  - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
A hazy dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of blackberry, cassis, and white pepper. In the mouth, wonderfully spicy notes of white pepper mix with ripe and unripe blackberry, and notes of dried herbs. Faint powdery tannins gain stiffness as the wine heads to a long finish. I suspect this wine will blossom with some age. 
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino County Carignan - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Dark hazy garnet in the glass, this wine smells of boysenberry pie and ripe blueberries. In the mouth, juicy flavors of boysenberry, blueberry, and black cherry have a faint powdery tannic texture and a hint of green herbs shot through them. Made in a glou-glou style for easy drinking with-a-chill, there’s a sour cherry note on the finish. Excellent acidity. 
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir  - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
A faintly hazy medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of wet redwood bark, red apple skins, earth, and raspberries. In the mouth, raspberry and red apple skin flavors mix with cedar and dried flowers as gauzy tannins float wispily in the corners of the mouth. Excellent, orange peel acidity.
2021 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino County Carignan Rosé  - Around 8.5 Points
Light coppery pink in the glass, this wine smells of sour cherry and citrus peel. In the mouth, silky flavors of sour cherry and strawberry have a nice snappy brightness to them thanks to excellent acidity. Ripe cherry flavors linger in the finish.
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - Around 8.5 Points
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of vanilla and grapefruit pith. In the mouth, flavors of lemon peel, butterscotch, and grapefruit juice have a nice silky texture and good brightness thanks to decent acidity. There’s a tiny hint of toasted, woody bread on the finish.
—Alder Yarrow, May 2022
Wine of the Week
2020 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé

Our Wine of the Week, Minus Tide 2020 Mendocino County Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé ($24), is one of the finest rosés I have tasted, perhaps ever. It is infinitely refreshing, with a forward flavor of salinity, as if you are being embraced by a gentle mist of ocean spray. The minerality, like cold river rocks or wet concrete after a morning drizzle, is engaging and compelling.

Fruit flavors are subdued and refined, a quality I appreciate. There is no suggestion of sweetness on the palate, as more fruit-forward wines display, even when they are fermented fully dry. I notice watermelon, near the tart rind, not the sweet heart. As the wine warms a bit in the glass, you’ll notice whispers of white nectarines and fresh-off-the-vine green beans.

It is a joy to pair this food-friendly wine at the table. It is extraordinary with sushi and sashimi and can hold its own with both commercial “wasabi” and the real thing. It is outstanding with traditional Hawaiian poke, Mexican ceviche, Peruvian ceviche and oysters on the half shell dressed with nothing more than a spritz of lemon or lime.

This wine is particularly good paired with a tangy goat cheese. A simple dish of spaghettini, fresh chèvre, a dollop of creme fraiche, fresh (not aged) garlic, Italian parsley and olive oil is an easy and stunning match. Certain sandwiches engage beautifully with this wine, too. A muffuletta welcomes it, and a baguette slathered with green olive tapenade, thinly sliced soppressata, and fresh goat cheese encourages the wine to blossom into its full, delightful self.
—Michele Anna Jordan, June 2021
A breezy rosé that’s as refreshing as the surf. This intentional carignan rosé has aromas and flavors of peach, watermelon and mineral. Balanced with bright acidity, it finishes crisp and has a great quench. Impressive.
Minus Tide, 2020 Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé is as refreshing as the surf, buoyed by crisp acidity and great minerality.

Gnarled vines pushing 113 years give you pause; the stories they could tell.

These ancient vines are the secret behind the Press Democrat’s wine of the week winner — the Minus Tide, 2020 Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé, 13.1%, $24.

“We’re lucky to work with the oldest block of Feliz Creek Vineyard in Hopland, which is in eastern Mendocino County,” said Brad Jonas, co-owner and co-winemaker. “It’s a dry-farmed, head-trained, organic vineyard, and it produces a restrained expression of carignan that we find perfect for rosé.”

Other tasty rosés that competed in the line-up include: Argyle, 2020 Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir, 12.5%, $27; Dutton Goldfield, 2020 North Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir, 13.2%, $30; Tongue Dancer, 2020 Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir, 14.8%, $22; and Castello Di Amorosa, 2020 Cresta D’Oro Vineyard, Green Valley of Russian River Valley Rosato, 13.6%, $35.

The Rhone varietal carignan also plays into this rosé’s unique expression, Jeffrey said.

“Mendocino has a rich history with carignan, and this 113-year-old vineyard is the perfect example of why the grape is so special,” he said. “In rosé, it brings an ocean spray-like salinity and has a mineral-driven backbone that makes it complex while still being completely delicious.”

Jeffrey and Jonas — both 32 — are millennials with the Minus Tide label as their side project. The brand’s name is a nod to the very low tides that expose hidden gems of the sea like abalone and to evoke the feeling of the Mendocino Coast.

Jeffrey’s day job is winemaker at Woods Beer and Wine Co. in San Francisco. He studied at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated in 2011 with a bachelor of science degree in wine and viticulture and a minor in agribusiness. Jonas’ day job is assistant winemaker at Toulouse Vineyards in Philo. He also studied at Cal Poly and graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in fruit science, with a concentration in viticulture.

The duo met in college and in 2010 made their first wine together — a Paso Robles syrah — as a home winemaking project.

“We have since traveled the world making wine in New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, and throughout California,” Jeffrey said. “The saying that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ feels so true to us. While we each bring our own individual winemaking experiences to Minus Tide, our collaborative approach to winemaking has made us both better winemakers, and it also has been incredibly fun.”
—Peg Melnik, June 2021
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 91 Points: Delicious, compelling; a compelling wine of its region; a delicious, finessed expression of a place.
This far-coast chardonnay grows 2,000 feet above, and three and a half miles inland from, the Pacific. It ferments without added yeasts and ages in mostly neutral oak (10 percent new) allowing the rich fruit depths to come through in tangerine, orange and chamomile notes. The balance of sweet fruit and savory lees will take on crab cakes or other rich shellfish dishes. 
—Josh Greene, October 2021
Loved that I discovered this relatively new wine producer Minus Tide Wines (launched in 2017) that is located in Mendocino County, northern California, that was started by a husband and wife team and their best friend. This passionate trio balance their day jobs while also making their Minus Tide wines that honor some of the great vineyards in Mendocino such as the Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé and Carignan Red that comes from dry-farmed, head-trained vines that are over 100 years old - planted in 1908!
Also, the Manchester Ridge Vineyard for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is located at 2,000 feet elevation and only 3.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean and the two cool-climate Syrah wines from the Valenti Vineyard and Perli Vineyard expressing different qualities and displays the diversity of sense of place in the Mendocino Ridge AVA, the only non-contiguous AVA in the US.
2021 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino County Carignan Rosé
Strawberry aromas with a touch of rose oil with bright acidity, crunchy cranberries and a saline mineral finish.
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay
Orange blossoms and wet stones on the nose with lemon curd on the palate with a nimble, fresh quality and mineral-driven finish.
2019 Minus Tide Manchester Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
Pretty, lifted nose with lilacs, red cherries and fresh tarragon that has a body that gently dances across the palate with lots of bright red fruits.
2019 Minus Tide Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
Black pepper and tapenade aromas that give this wine energy from the first whiff with a plush mid-palate with a good amount of structure to give it lift and elegance.
2019 Minus Tide Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah
Black currants, desert scrubs and hints of bacon bits on the nose with silky tannins and juicy, flavorful fruit along the sustained finish.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino County Carignan
Plum cobbler and baking spices with savory herbs on the nose with dried flowers and that same saline minerality, that the Feliz Creek Vineyard is known for, on the long finish.
—Cathrine Todd (of Forbes), May 2022
A Winery to Watch: Three friends and their Minus Tide Wines
It’s nice when a plan comes together. 
The troika of partners at Minus Tide Wines of Mendocino County are enjoying the kind of “overnight” success that only comes after years of preparation, perspiration and planning. 
It was the mid-2000s when three budding California wine entrepreneurs — Kyle Jeffrey from So Cal, Miriam Pitt of Palo Alto and Brad Jonas from the Mendocino Coast — experienced the serendipitous magic of chance meetings on the campus at Cal Poly University in San Louis Obispo (SLO). 
“I think I just found out while we were standing in line on, like our first day at school, that he was also into wakeboarding,” Kyle laughs now about meeting Brad. 
Soon enough, the pair – who had both arrived to study in the school’s highly acclaimed, hands-on enology program — discovered they had much more in common than just wakeboarding. “We had similar palates and preferences,” Brad said. “And from a philosophical standpoint we knew that we wanted to make site-specific, vineyard driven wines with a minimalist approach.” Sharing their love of wine, Miriam took a different path studying wine tourism and marketing. But when the three got together back in those days at SLO, the synergy of interests, ambitions and talents led them to dream about one day making wine together. 
Cut to 2020 and Kyle, Brad and Miriam (now married to Brad) are preparing to produce their fourth vintage of Minus Tide Wines after receiving rave reviews for many of their first releases, especially their Old Vine Carignan Rosé. And they have done all this as a “second job,” as all three hold full-time positions helping others produce and sell their wines. 
In her role as an account executive at J.A.M. PR, Miriam has had a hand in public relations for a number of the most lauded brands in wine, including Duckhorn, Spottswoode, Sea Smoke and Chappellet, among others. Skills perfected there have helped her present and promote the Minus Tide wines professionally to many of the world’s top wine journalists. 
Kyle and Brad worked harvests over the past decade in far-flung wine destinations. These include the biodynamic vineyards of Henri Cruchon in Lausanne, Switzerland, the cool climate pinot fields of Central Otago in New Zealand and the syrah/shiraz hotspot of Australia’s McLaren Vale. Now Kyle is the winemaker for Woods Beer and Wine Co. on Treasure Island in San Francisco, while Brad serves daily as assistant winemaker at pinot noir specialist Toulouse Vineyards in Philo in the heart of the Anderson Valley. That is where Minus Tide produces their wines. “Vern Boltz (Toulouse owner and winemaker) gave us his blessing to make our wines in his facility, otherwise we couldn’t have done this (project),” Brad said. 
The global experience has brought the trio to the sweet spot of Mendocino, where the focus is on the production of the non-interventionist processes that are the hallmark of the Minus Tide wines. Site-specificity, as the original philosophy dictated, shows itself in the cool climate style Minus Tide Syrah from the Valenti Vineyard, which sits high in the coastal mountains just a few miles from the Pacific in the Mendocino Ridge appellation. This wine has notes reminiscent of a peppery Côte-Rôtie made from the same variety in the Northern Rhone region of France. 
Then there is the Minus Tide 100% Carignan sourced from ancient vines at the Feliz Creek vineyard near Hopland, California. Not a variety you’ll find much of in the new world, Brad raves about the vines from which they hail. “These are enormous, gnarly vines, many up to 80 years old.” The wine is fermented in a closed-top, egg-shaped fermenter and is presented un-fined and unfiltered. A wine that proves everything old is new again. I recently put a chill on a bottle and sipped it with some deeply smoky pork ribs and loved it. 
Oh, and about the name: Brad grew up along the Mendocino Coast. “We were looking for something that evoked the feel of the ocean, and a minus tide is when you can really see what is going on along the coast,” he explained. The logo features an abalone shell on a vineyard post and sets a tone so strong one feels the salt of the sea. 
Still, I can’t help but think the tide is rising for these three college friends. 
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé
There are many rosé wines out there. But single variety, single vineyard wines from California? Well, that reduces the number by a lot. The grapes for this wine were sourced from a block of 112-year-old, dry farmed head trained vines in the Feliz Creek Vineyard. Pale in color, but balanced with lively acidity, the wine is a perfect complement for a “plateau de fruits de mer,” or perhaps with some abalone, if you could find it.
—Kelly Hayes, July 2020

It’s so exciting to discover new producers making serious, kindly priced wines anywhere, but especially in California where they have been relatively rare.

Funnily enough I have recently come across two – with spookily similar names. How weird is that? One is Minus Tide, producers of a series of exciting Mendocino wines grown close to the Pacific coast and named after a particularly low tide there that is great for gathering seafood, I’m told. I’ll be writing about these wines and the trio behind it in a big survey of new-wave California wines I’m planning.
—Jancis Robinson, May 2020

The warm and inviting wine bar is alive at Habibi, a Russian Hill pop-up
The three owners and sole employees are Essam Kardosh, Andrew Nelson and Bahman Safari, longtime friends who had been talking for over a year about opening something together. They envisioned a storefront in North Beach, something modeled on “the wine bars of Spain and the Parisian nouveau bistros,” says Kardosh — a hybrid bar-retail model with casual service and cozy environs.

“I’ve stepped away from the zealoted, zero-zero natural wine conversation,” says Kardosh, who oversaw a radically natural wine list when he was the general manager of Del Popolo. “Ultimately, for us it comes down to farming and what kind of energy the people are trying to put into the bottle.”

That might include, as it did for me on a recent evening, a bottle of the peppery, animalistic Minus Tide Syrah from the Valenti Vineyard in Mendocino Ridge.
—Esther Mobley, October 2020

Minus Tide is a relatively new wine brand started by three friends focused on wines made on the chilly coast of Mendocino, and they sent along a couple of their newest wines, both of which are admirable. Their Chenin Blanc is snappy and light on its feet, while their Carignan is positively mouthwatering.
2019 Minus Tide Buddha's Dharma Vineyard Mendocino Chenin Blanc - Around 9 Points
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemons and poached pear with a hint of white flowers. In the mouth, wonderfully bright lemon and pear flavors have a hint of grapefruit as fantastic acidity keeps the mouth watering. Nice and zesty, with hints of citrus peel in the finish. 
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - Around 9 Points
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of blackberry, black cherry, and cola. In the mouth, boysenberry and cola flavors have a wonderfully bright sour cherry juiciness that makes the mouth water (think Purple SweetTart) thanks to fantastic acidity. Delicious, with faint tannins that ghost around the edges of the palate. 

—Alder Yarrow, June 2021

2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - 4 Stars
A well-suited carignan to couple with a puck of beef. It’s juicy, with crisp acidity and high-toned red fruit. It has a supple texture and a lingering finish. Just lovely.
—Peg Melnik, June 2021

One Bottle
2019 Minus Tide Buddha's Dharma Vineyard Mendocino Chenin Blanc
Before chardonnay's buttery surge to become California's favorite white grape, it had a close peer in popularity and production: chenin blanc. The latter is challenging to find in the state these days, so it's delightful to see that one of the most impressive bottles of Golden State chenin blanc is from a newcomer producer and a 76-year-old vineyard near Ukiah that is owned by the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas monastery.

Minus Tide cofounders Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas and Miriam Jonas met at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In 2017, they officially started their winery as an ode to the quiet, diverse wine-growing terrain of Mendocino County. Minus Tide's 2019 Chenin Blanc starts with ripe melon and honeycrisp apple notes on the nose before flavors of winter citrus and wet slate arrive gracefully in the body. The smooth, crips wine ends with a hint of toast and grapefruit, making it a natural pairing for brunch or a wonderful partner for caviar and oysters in the evening.
—Trevor Felch, February 2022

There are many thrilling wine regions I have had the pleasure of visiting around the world but surprisingly one of the most memorable was right here in my American backyard: Mendocino, California. I remember going there to visit a producer on a rainy, cool day with the fog rolling into the vineyards that were surrounded by old redwood trees. It seemed like a mystical place that had a multitude of passionate producers making small batch wines from a varying range of grape varieties. There was something so magical about Mendocino and so when I had a chance to try these @minustidewines wines from three co-owners, two who are married, who met at California Polytechnic and were able to realize their dream by working with small, family-owned, sustainable farmed vineyards - almost all organic and dry farmed - to make wines that showcased the magic of Mendocino I jumped at the chance.
Minus Tide uses native yeasts, mostly neutral oak with a love for acidity and modest alcohol levels in their wines.
2019 Minus Tide Buddha's Dharma Vineyard Mendocino Chenin Blanc
100% from the 76 year old Chenin Blanc vines in the Buddha's Dharma Vineyard. Tasting this wine reminded me of the rain dance we did to celebrate the much needed rain on that day I visited Mendocino vineyards. Lanolin, quince paste, lemon blossoms and wet stones danced in my head with a saline minerality and mouth-watering green apples on the palate with a bright, elegant finish.

2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan
100% head-trained, dry farmed Carignan that was planted in 1908 in Feliz Creek Vineyard. Jumps out of the glass with multifaceted fruit that is richly wild with black raspberry and red currants dominating the palate with layers of broken-earth and lilacs along the well-integrated round tannins.
—Cathrine Todd (of Forbes), June 2021

Wine of the Week
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

You may not know it but before Pasadena was known for orange groves, there were acres of vines and a handful of wineries in the region. This Minus Tide (so named since low tides “expose the hidden gems of the sea”) Pinot Noir hits subtle notes – darker, richer red and black fruits like red raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, rhubarb, light cranberry and an earthy kind of quality. It also has an acidity that cries out for food. Rather using commercial yeast, Minus Tide uses native yeast for fermentation, that which occurs naturally in the vineyard.

The wine was then aged in used oak barrels for a mere 14 months, so you don’t get a heavy oak influence, drowning out the lovely fruit. For the wine geeks out there, they used clone 115. For the rest of us, it’s simply a fantastic addition to the wine scene and showcases the typical flavors you often see in Mendocino Pinot Noir.

But how about food? According to co-owner Miriam Pitt, she suggests mushroom risotto, roast duck breast with fig reduction sauce, or grilled salmon with teriyaki glaze. “Pinot Noir and salmon is a classic pairing for good reason,” she tells PasadenaNow. “The juiciness, lively acidity, and savory fruit elements of the wine are a great match for the umami flavors of the fish.” And with the duck and the risotto, both are complemented by the “earthy flavors of the Pinot Noir.” Minus Tide is on the plus side.
—Michael Cervin, September 2020

This week included a couple of pretty rosés from Oregon and California. The second, from relative newcomer Minus Tide Wines in Mendocino, is a really lovely rendition of Carignan in pink form that is just mouthwatering and just what you want to be drinking on a warm afternoon.

Minus Tide also offered a Pinot this week from Mendocino Ridge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean... it did some some very nice qualities, chief among which was a nice forest-floor quality.
2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé - Around 9 Points
A pale salmon pink in the glass, this wine smells of citrus peel and watermelon rind. In the mouth, watermelon rind, green strawberries, and citrus peel have a zippy, bouncy brightness thanks to fantastic acidity. Lean, bright, with a pink SweetTart finish that is mouthwatering.
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Light to medium ruby in the glass with purple highlights, this wine smells of green willow bark, forest floor, and raspberries. In the mouth, notes of red apple skin, raspberry, and dried cherry have a very nice brightness to them thanks to excellent acidity. The wine has a feeling of having been well oxygenated, which makes it taste more evolved than I would expect at this young age, but all the flavors are good.
—Alder Yarrow May 2020

2019 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé - 92 Points
Vintage number two for this great Rosé - one you won't want to delay in ordering. Intentional Rosé from start to finish, it's an elegant expression of what's usually thought of as a rustic variety. Crisp nectarine, subtle strawberry and soft citrus ride a stony mineral core through a long finish where the red fruit gets a little push. A favorite new producer! 
—Rich Cook, June 2020

California Wines Export 2020
Jancis Robinson, MW, with wine writer and educator, Elaine Chukan Brown, discuss their insights into the role and potential of California wine globally. Jancis recommends Minus Tide!
—Jancis Robinson, February 2020
View Clip

—Meridith May, August 2019

2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 91 Points: Excellent; highly recommended
Ripe fruit aromas and enticing pastry-shop accents bring a lot of enjoyment to this medium-bodied, fresh and minimally oaky wine. Crisp apple and poached pear mingle with vanilla, nutmeg and ginger on the palate while crisp natural acidity keeps it in balance.
—Jim Gordon, December 2019

Kelly Clarkson and cheese expert Liz Thorpe featured the 2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay on The Kelly Clarkson Show!

"This is a good wine!"

—Kelly Clarkson, October 2019
View Clip

The Anderson Valley Winter White Wine Festival full of delights
Here are the producers that made the biggest impressions over the weekend, all for different reasons.
Minus Tide
This young brand is a partnership between three, 30-something wine industry pros who met at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and still have their day jobs, but it’s obvious their line-up of uber-coastal Mendocino County wines are getting a lot of attention from their peers. They don’t have a tasting room, but after sampling a bit at the Grand Tasting, I was able to do a deep dive into their lineup on Sunday at Disco Ranch, a great little wine shop and market in Boonville, along with their friendly husky named Joe. Outside of the standard Mendocino Pinot Noir and Chardonnay they also make a Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Carignan, and Syrah. All of the wines were elegant and balanced with a focus on high acidity and lower alcohol.

As a bonus, their most expensive bottle is $42. The Feliz Creek Vineyard Carignan Rosé, produced from head-trained, dry-farmed vines planted back in 1908, was my first official Rosé purchase of 2020 and I picked up a bottle of the Valenti Vineyard Syrah too. I’ve been on a cool-climate Syrah kick lately and this particular vineyard site sits just six miles from the coast.
—Jess Lander, March 2020

Mendocino Ridge is known as “Islands in the Sky” because it applies exclusively to land above 1,200ft — hills that are generally above the fog line but fully exposed to marine onslaughts. At 2,600ft, the Mariah Vineyard is the second highest in Mendocino County, yet it’s a stone’s throw from the ocean. 

A newish part-time operation Minus Tide has made some particularly promising wines from this and other Mendocino Ridge vineyards
—Jancis Robinson, March 2020

About 260 wine industry members gathered Tuesday in Napa for “Export 2020: California Wine Global Export Conference,” a program to spur California wine exports.

Among the speakers Tuesday was British wine critic and educator Jancis Robinson, a columnist for the Financial Times. She spoke to wine writer and educator Elaine Chukan Brown, a contributor to Robinson’s wine blog,

Among the current favorite affordable American wines, Robinson mentioned Steve Matthiasson’s Tendu, which will appeal to younger consumers, Minus Tide and Calder Wine Co.
—Kerana Todorov, February 2020

A few prime California picks from the very many at @pswinefest to keep your eyes peeled for 🍷👀🌴 @minustidewines’ carbonic Carignan #MARwines
—Marissa Ross, December 2018

2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 94 Points
One of the reasons that you’ve taken this moment to visit us here at Wine Review Online is no doubt to find something new -- it’s certainly one of the things that binds us together as wine lovers.

That said, it’s my pleasure to highly recommend a first release wine from Minus Tide, a brand-new player in California’s Mendocino County. This 2017 Chardonnay, sourced from the Mendocino Ridge AVA’s Mariah Vineyard ($36), has been beautifully realized by three friends that met at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (one of California’s “other” wine schools) who are handling nearly every aspect of the winery, from winemaking to sales to label artwork, and they are off to the races with this gorgeously place-specific white wine. 

A little background on sourcing: Mendocino Ridge is the rare AVA that is based on an elevation cut line, sitting above 1200 feet, and it’s the only non-contiguous AVA in the country to date. Picture mountaintop vineyards dotting your view -- basking in the sun above the fog that swaddles the landscape resting below 1200 feet -- and you’ll get a sense of what the AVA is…unique to say the least. 

Now, look up to picture Dan Dooling’s Mariah Vineyard at 2600 feet -- more than double the AVA’s cut line elevation -- with a view of the Pacific, and you’ll get a fuller picture of how this wine comes together.

And come together it does, with elegant aromatics include pear, peach, apple, stony minerality and a dash of ocean spray. These all translate in linear fashion on the palate, with a solid core of acidity driving the wine’s intensity and integration of flavors through a long finish. Neutral oak adds a lovely textural component without interfering with the tension and purity of the fruit mix. I could drink this all day long and never tire of it, and I’m excited to taste the rest of the lineup from this venture. Look for more reviews soon. 

I love discovering something new in wine -- it’s like looking down and spotting a shell or a stone that you’ve never seen before while strolling the beach during a minus tide….

—Rich Cook, August 2019

This week also saw the appearance of a bunch of wines from a brand new producer named Minus Tide. Started by three friends -- Kyle Jeffrey, Brad Jonas, and Miriam Pitt -- this is a small estate-less winery making cool climate wines in small quantities. Miriam Pitt works in the wine PR business, and is responsible for sending me a bunch of the wines that you see reviewed here on Vinography, so it was quite charming to get some wines that she had a hand in making. They're all tasty. I particularly like the Carignan in both its rosé form and its full red incarnation (which benefits from some air before drinking).
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé - Around 9 Points
A pale coppery salmon color in the glass, this wine smells of strawberries and raspberries. In the mouth, beautifully silky flavors of green strawberry, raspberry and watermelon have a citrusy acidity that makes the mouth water. Fantastic and bright, and utterly delicious with hints of watermelon rind lingering in the finish along with a faint sweetness. Happiness Creek, indeed.
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of freshly cut apples and white flowers. In the mouth, flavors of lemon curd, Fuji apples and white flowers have a brisk brightness to them thanks to very good acidity. Crisp and fruity, with a hint of butterscotch emerging on the finish.
2017 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of distinctly sweet boysenberry fruit. In the mouth, intense boysenberry flavors have a faint tannic texture to them and a nice acidity that keeps the mouth watering as the lush fruit flavors move across the palate. Juicy and fruity, but perhaps lacking some complexity. This is fairly well made up for with charm, however.
2015 Minus Tide Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino Malbec - Between 8.5 and 9 Points
Very dark garnet in color, this wine smells of black cherry and cola. In the mouth, rich, ripe black cherry fruit is intense, with juicy acidity that makes for a mouthwatering package. Hints of espresso back up the black cherry and blueberry fruit. 
—Alder Yarrow, July 2019

The 13 Best Rosés to Sip This Summer
These rosés take pink to a new level.
...we’ve added a few more of our new favorites—all offering the nuance of variety and place that make them serious wines. 
2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
A first release from a new team in Mendocino this pale pink opens with a fresh-ocean-breeze salinity mixed with wild strawberry, spice, and honeysuckle. It’s perfectly balanced between juicy fruit and dryness, with a satisfyingly savory finish.
—Sara Schneider, July 2019


2017 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan - 93 Points
Heads up Ms. Butler and Ms. Shelton – there’s a worthy new player in the Carignan arena, and with a unique angle to boot. Winemakers Brad Jonas and Kyle Jeffrey bring us a Beaujolais styled expression of fruit from Wendy Fetzer’s dry farmed head trained vines in Hopland that were originally planted in 1908. Carbonic maceration on native yeast and ten months in neutral oak results in a dry, bright wine that sings with ripe strawberry, cherry, bay leaf, pepper and gentle oak spice, finishing tart and fresh. There’s real versatility in the variety, and this is a welcome take.
—Rich Cook, November 2019 


Minus Tide
Longtime senior account executive at J.A.M. PR, Miriam Pitt, released her debut Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 2019 from the 2017 vintages. She co-founded the winery with her fiance, Brad Jonas (assistant winemaker at Toulouse Vineyards) and their best friend, Kyle Jeffrey (winemaker at Campovida in Hopland). The winery's focus is on cool-climate wines from small, family-owned and sustainably farmed vineyards in Mendocino County. Many of the vineyards are dry farmed and organic.
2017 Minus Tide Mariah Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Chardonnay - 93 Points: Outstanding
Whole cluster pressed. Native yeast barrel fermentation in neutral French oak puncheons for 13 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Alluring scent of apple pastry, lemon butter, pineapple and flint. Bright and lively in the mouth, blessed with sound acidity and showing no distracting oak overlay. Flavors of lemon-lime, green apple, pear, a hint of pineapple and a saline note are immensely satisfying. The finish is clean and refreshing. The winemakers have done a commendable job of balancing acidic verve with enough fruit richness.
—Rusty Gaffney, June 2019


2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé
This gorgeous, tension-filled wine proves that a cold night is a perfect night for a great bottle of rosé: The @minustidewines Carignan Rosé 2018 bursts from the glass with wild strawberries, field flowers, sun-warmed hay, oyster shells, orange blossom, and honeysuckle, ending on an almost salty finish that made it absolutely sing alongside homemade tacos, cumin-scented beans, and enough guacamole to drown in, happily.
—Brian Freedman (of Forbes and Food & Wine), January 2020



2018 Minus Tide Feliz Creek Vineyard Mendocino Carignan Rosé - 92 Points
New player Minus Tide is off to a great start -- this second introduction features ripe white peach aromas offset by light floral notes. The palate is steely dry, with touches of sea spray and herbs dancing with citrus, tart peach and strawberry around a pole of stony minerality. Light and refreshing, yet with some depth and character. Salute!
—Rich Cook, August 2019