Radio-Coteau (rā’ dē ō - kō tō’) adj. A colloquial expression suggesting “word of mouth.” Region: Northern Rhone.
Literal Translation: broadcasting from the hillside.

Established in 2002 by winegrower and proprietor Eric Sussman, Radio-Coteau works closely with select cool-climate coastal vineyard sites in Western Sonoma County and Anderson Valley to produce wines with vibrant, balanced fruit and a distinct sense of place. Focus is on detailed and sustainable viticulture in conjunction with a natural, non-interventionist approach in the cellar to more accurately reflect the unique character of each site and season. The winery is situated in Sebastopol, and the estate vineyard is located in the hills above Occidental.

2012 Vintage
In 2012 Mother Nature gave us a relieving break from the dramatic 2010 and 2011 vintages, and we had near-idyllic growing conditions. Spring provided a healthy fruit set, a mellow summer allowed fruit extended hang-time, and a fairly dry fall kept mildew pressure at bay. These elements allowed us to strike that harmonious, yet often elusive, balance of keeping just enough fruit on the vine while maintaining richness, intensity, and verve.

But let’s back up a bit. A drier than usual December and January eventually gave way to an intense storm just as spring was slowly emerging. March dropped nearly 8” of rain with more rains in early April. Budbreak was delayed slightly, just before a high-pressure system got comfortable over Sonoma County and pushed the vines out of dormancy, into the sunshine. The warmth and mild weather patterns continued and provided magnificent bloom conditions for a healthy fruit set.

With the exception of dense fog-filled mornings and one triple digit heat wave in July, the mild weather patterns continued throughout the summer. The nights were unseasonably cool, in the low 40’s. Luckily, the vines experienced the wonderful 45-50 degree diurnal temperature variation. In this natural phenomenon, energy translocates from the roots up to the fruit and back to the roots again each day and night, building a foundation of delectable flavors and complexity. As the clusters developed, we began to notice higher crop estimations and took measures in the vineyard to the reduce fruit load. The vines could now concentrate their energy and even the ripening process.

We are proud of our coastal cool climate vineyard terroir, yet we work with sites that are more susceptible to harsh weather patterns, which can be difficult for later ripening varietals such as Syrah and Zinfandel. However, the growing degree days of 2012 mirrored the classic 2009 vintage, and the grapes across the varietals remained on the vines long enough to develop complexity. Though a few heat spells could have potentially pushed sugars up, we preferred to pick for flavor and phenolic development as opposed to higher brix. Most of the pinot was brought in before these temperature spikes, and we are pleased with the results.

With a few new vineyard sites in 2012 and an abundant year, we were filled to the proverbial cellar brim. We practiced our minimalist approach in the winery by ensuring healthy vines and impeccable fruit in the vineyards, before it even reaches the cellar door. A keen eye kept on the vines, and painstakingly maintaining balance throughout the year, has graced us with exceptional wines, each expressing the personality of its unique growing site.

2011 Vintage

2010 Vintage

2009 Vintage

2008 Vintage

2007 Vintage

2006 Vintage

2005 Vintage

image eric
Winegrower Eric Sussman first heard the expression radio coteau from a friend while living and working in Burgundy. More than a preference for how you discover these wines, the name reflects a commitment to capturing reflections of soil, seasons, people and place.

Radio-Coteau supports land and marine-life conservation and educational practices by returning a portion of Orfin Lotts satellite wine sales to community-based organizations which inspire us.

Inspired by the traditional yet endangered telemark ski turn and free-heelin’ backcountry access, Orfin Lott's Pinhead Red was born. This red is a hearty yet refined mountain wine that was handcrafted for the express purpose of returning the bounty of the land to the communities and causes that inspire us. A portion of the proceeds of Pinhead Red is donated to The School Garden Network for creation and support of sustainable garden and nutrition-based learning programs for students in Sonoma County. 


Vince “The Hat” Pedroia's cowboy poetry, from his collection A Mano:

"A Mano"
"Horseshoe Bend"
“Disguised” Poem on Giclee Print

Vince Pedroia planted
Cherry Camp Vineyard in 2001.

©2011 by Vince Pedroia
All Rights Reserved
For additional copies, or to
purchase the collection or the
print, email

Above: Local artist Claude Smith showcased some of his beautiful pieces at Radio-Coteau 's Fall 2012 Open House. Born and raised in N.Y.C. in a family of visual artists, he has had one-man and group exhibitions in N.Y.C galleries beginning in 1968 and has had shows in Toronto, San Francisco, Europe and throughout northern California. Claude resides and maintains a studio in Graton, CA. Check out his work online


**We were delighted when Renga owner and matermind Joe Szuecs featured artwork and performed acoustic guitar at our Spring 2012 Open House**

Renga Arts produces and sells art, both fine and functional, made from reclaimed, salvaged, and recycled materials. They have joined reknowned folk artist, Patrick Amiot, to create a showcase for exemplary works from the finest artists and craftspeople working with salvaged materials. Along with world class folk and fine art, they strive to offer creatively inspired objects of everyday utility. Needless to say, a wealth of items fit into this category -- birdhouses, furniture, bowls, jewelry, and garden accessories are just a few examples.
They represent a growing number of talented and inspired artists and vendors, both local and international, that create inspiring handmade works for you and your home.

Vit Lit Oyster Culture

Cameron + Company is a boutique publishing house, creating and distributing quality books and calendars with a focus on photography, art, architecture and publications of regional interest. Visit their website

Written by Joe Mesics, late owner of Timbervine and our friend, Vit Lit captures a unique perspective into the life of an old timer's winegrowing journey. "From grape to glass, Joe Mesics invites us to join him on a wine road less traveled—the one that the furrowed-brow grape grower takes everyday."

Gwendolyn Meyer's exceptional photography and introspective into the oyster world's past, present, and future takes the reader on a colorful, educational path of the complex, yet pure, world of this tremendous and lovable bivalve. Radio-Coteau's La Neblina Pinot Noir is paired with The Marshall Store's Fish Stew on page 113. "Oyster Culture looks at the rich intersection between oyster farming and culinary culture in this unique habitat in Northern California, which has remained relatively pristine due to conservation measures and agricultural land trusts."

Ted Andersen's Agency
Ted Andersen's Agency at Radio-Coteau We met up with local Sebastopol artist Ted Andersen at a brewpub in Santa Rosa one thirsty afternoon in Fall 2011. Just a couple weeks out was our open house weekend, and we were honored to showcase his extradorinary work. This piece is known as The Agency. Check him out at
Below: 2010 La Neblina night harvest filmed and edited by Anaïs Radonich Galvin of Farm + Cellar.

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