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Coates Vineyards, certified organic biodynamic winery, is in the Six Rivers National Forest near the small town of Orleans in Northern California. It was founded by Norman Coates, an organic farmer, winemaker, and vineyard manager in 1991 with the planting of the first of five vineyards. Before the vineyards were established, a wide variety of organically grown fruits and vegetables had been farmed on this land by Coates under the trade name Gem of the River Produce. Organic produce has been grown here and at two other nearby farms by Coates for the past 35 years and shipped to local organic produce markets, farmers markets, and organic wholesalers throughout the United States.

The first vineyard was Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sangiovese from cuttings that were from organic vineyards in Sonoma County, California. The cuttings were rooted in nursery beds and then planted out in vineyard rows the following spring. The vineyards on the Klamath have the luxury of being established on their own roots instead of being grafted onto disease resistant rootstocks for the simple reason that Orleans is far away from the large grape growing areas where diseases are prevalent. Grapevines on their own rootstocks are generally more healthy, vigorous, and the grapes can better express their varietal characters. Over a six year period, additional Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sangiovese vineyards were planted along with Merlot, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. There are now 17 acres producing CCOF certified, USDA organic grapes.

The winery was bonded with the first harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1996 with 120 cases. Since then it has grown to accommodate a 3,000 case per year production and become a USDA approved, Certified Organic winery. The winery uses state-of-the-art wine-making equipment that insures the vigorous process control required to produce quality wines without the use of sulfites, ph adjustments, filtering and fining. The wines are aged in French and American oak barrels and temperature controlled cellars for two to three years. The wines are then blended and bottled with the best bottling equipment available using nitrogen throughout its process to protect the wine from oxidation.