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Morgan Winery

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History & Winemaking

"While Lee has made excellent wines since starting the Morgan Winery brand in 1982, their distinctiveness and personality have soared in the past three years, and Double L has much to do with that."

- The San Francisco Chronicle

Conscientious, innovative farming regimens allied with traditional, “minimalist” winemaking techniques craft wines of balance, elegance and distinction.  For Morgan Winery, this single-minded focus has produced a record of consistent, category leading, award winning wines.

Dan’s goal is to produce wines that are “true” - true to the variety and vineyard source and show true balance and complexity, while being enjoyable upon release.  Morgan delivers consistency from bottle to bottle, vintage to vintage by nurturing sustainable, long-term relationships with their own vineyard and cellar crews, top-notch growers, and the finest French barrel coopers.

1978 Dan Morgan Lee left UC Davis for a full winemaking position at Jekel Vineyard in Monterey County.
1980 Dan Morgan Lee met Donna George at a Monterey County Vintners and Growers meeting.
1982 Daniel Morgan Lee and Donna George founded Morgan Winery and produced 2,000 cases of Monterey Chardonnay.  This first Morgan Chardonnay was awarded a gold medal at the Orange County Fair Wine Competition and won a taste-off of gold medal winners and received the Platinum medal from Wine & Spirits Magazine.
1984 Began producing Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma under St. Vrain brand.
1986 Produced first red wines including Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Carneros along with Carmel Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Sauvignon Blanc labeling was switched from the St. Vrain brand to the Morgan Winery label. Dan Morgan Lee and Donna George marry in Carmel.
1989 Began producing a single vineyard Chardonnay from Edna Valley’s MacGregor Vineyard.
1990 Began producing reserve Pinot Noir; both Monterey and Carneros.
1991 Stopped producing Cabernet Sauvignon.  Annie and Jackie Lee, twin daughters, were born – the “Double L’s”.
1992 Began producing Dry Creek Zinfandel.
1993 Began producing Reserve Chardonnay.
1994 Stopped producing Reserve Pinot Noir from Carneros.  Began producing Syrah from Dry Creek Valley and Marsanne.
1995 Began producing Malvasia Blanca.  Son, Joshua Lee, is born.
1996 Dan and Donna Lee purchased the Double L Ranch as bare ground.  Began sourcing Monterey County Sauvignon Blanc, which made up 38% of the blend.  The labeled Pinot Noir appellation changed from California to Monterey.  The labeled Syrah appellation changed to Monterey.  Started producing Crow’s Roost; the precursor of Cotes du Crow’s.  Stopped producing Marsanne.
1997 Planted 25 acres on the bottom field of the Double L Vineyard to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Began producing Pinot Gris
1998 Stopped producing Zinfandel to emphasize on Syrah from Monterey.  Stopped producing Malvasia to concentrate on Pinot Gris. The labeled Reserve Pinot Noir was changed to SLH.  Produced a single vineyard Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir for 1998 & 1999.  Began purchasing Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  The 1995 Reserve Chardonnay was awarded as one of Wine Enthusiast’s “Top Ten Chardonnays of 1998.
1996 Morgan Winery was awarded as Wine & Spirits “Winery of the Year.”
1999

The first harvest from Double L Vineyard occurred. Began producing Tierra Mar Syrah. Began purchasing Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir grapes.  The 1998 Sauvignon Blanc was awarded as one of Wine Enthusiast’s “Top 100 Best Buys."

2000

Began producing Single Vineyard selections for SLH Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; stopped the Reserve program for those wines. The labeled Monterey Pinot Noir was changed to SLH with growing production from Double L Vineyard and other SLH sources. Cotes du Crow’s production was switched to the Morgan label, replacing Crow’s Roost. Planted an additional 1.5 acres of Pinot Noir at the Double L Vineyard.

2001 Began producing “Hat Trick” Double L Vineyard Chardonnay and Metallico “Un-oaked” Chardonnay.  Sauvignon Blanc is now comprised of 100% Monterey fruit. Planted 1 acre of Syrah, 1 acre of Pinot Noir along with 4.5 acres of rootstock for future grafting at the Double L Vineyard.
2002 SLH Pinot Noir is now labeled Twelve Clones.  The previously planted 4.5 acres (in 2001) of rootstock was grafted to Pinot Noir.  An initial 2.4 acres of 1997 Pinot Noir plantings were removed so the vineyard can be replanted to better rootstock and Pinot Noir clones.
2003 Morgan Winery was awarded as San Francisco Chronicle’s “Winery of the Year.” Tierra Mar Syrah was awarded as one of the “Top 100 Wines of 2003” by Wine Enthusiast.
2004 The 2002 Rosella’s Vineyard Chardonnay was awarded as one of San Francisco Chronicle’s “Top 100 Wines of The Year.”
2005 The Lee Family Farm label was unveiled with the production of Verdelho and Rose. Began producing Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir. SLH Chardonnay receives the Highland designation.  The 2002 Rosella’s Pinot Noir  was awarded as one of Wine & Spirits “Top 13 Pinots of the Year.” Began producing Double L Vineyard Syrah.
2006 Began producing Rio Tinto (Portuguese red blend) which was introduced to Lee Family Farm label.
2007 In July, the Taste Morgan (visitor center/tasting room) opened in Crossroads Shopping Village in Carmel.  Morgan Winery was awarded as Restaurant Wine’s “Winery of the Year.” At the Double L Vineyard, 2.3 acres Chardonnay were grafted to different Chardonnay clones and 2 new acres were planted; 1 acre Pinot Noir and 1 acre of Riesling.
2008 At the Double L Vineyard, 1.9 acres of Pinot Noir were grafted to different Pinot Noir clones and 1 acre of rootstock was planted to be later grafted.  Stopped producing “Hat Trick” Double L Vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
2010 Began producing Double L Vineyard Riesling.  The labeled Monterey Syrah was switched to SLH.