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Located in the remote ridge tops of the West Sonoma Coast, Alma Fria produces elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a region where nature asserts more influence than man. We founded Alma Fria in 2012, after discovering a special vineyard amongst the coastal redwoods, near the villages of Annapolis and Sea Ranch, and using those vines to produce our inaugural wine.

Most mornings, as we traverse the pacific coast, past the river estuaries, the tidal zones and the sheering, ocean-side cliffs, we witness the enormous level of biodiversity at the edge of the land and the sea. Coveys of quail scatter, sea otters frolic, and osprey are on patrol, all under the protective gauze of rolling sea mist and blankets of fog. Life is full, wild, and free.

It is this feeling, this connection with the natural systems around us, that we try to channel in Alma Fria wines.


In 2011, Carroll came together with five friends to launch the West Sonoma Coast Vintners. The wine world was beginning to understand something we knew intimately. Namely, that the wines emanating from Sonoma’s coastal mountain ranges were expanding the possibilities of California wine. Yes, they were concentrated, but they were also aromatic and light on their feet, held together by a bright natural acidity that helped them dance across the palate, as if they had more in common with the cold, Pacific waters than the warm, California sun.

So, in 2015, after years of work and study, the WSCV prepared a petition and filed it with the TTB to create the West Sonoma Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA), a slim area running north-south along the Sonoma coastlands that encompassed the coastal mountains of Annapolis and Fort Ross-Seaview as well as the headlands and foothills of Bodega, Freestone, and Occidental. Seven years later, the West Sonoma Coast AVA was formally approved by the TTB. Its birthday is May 23, 2022!

Visit West Sonoma Coast Vintners website to learn about its members and upcoming events.

What is the essence of the West Sonoma Coast?
It is where soil and sea coalesce to create the thin, radiant line of biodiversity that we endeavor to put into your wineglass.
Group by the water
The North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) is native to California and considered a “keystone species”. They are ecosystem engineers helping to create and maintain diverse habitat throughout the State.



“Over twenty years ago, I reimagined my producing career in Hollywood and became a winemaker. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. And it’s been no small adventure. After spending seventeen years and tens of thousands of hours making wines in the cellars and vineyards of my first winery, Red Car, I slowly became the winemaker of my dreams, but my personal journey was not yet complete. Gaining a richer understanding of the rhythms of nature had become a driving force in my life. I felt compelled to go deeper into the principles of organic, biodynamic, and ecological systems, looking to produce ever better wines.

This next journey was best undertaken on a small scale, one without dozens of employees, quick timetables, and commercial pressures. After considerable thought, I decided to devote myself to a new chapter, a winery with my friend, Jan Holtermann, now known as Alma Fria. It is the culmination of my crazy wine dream and a reward unto itself.” ~ Carroll



“I had the good fortune of being the third generation to manage my family’s 63-year-old wine import and distribution company in Costa Rica. It was founded by my grandfather when he migrated from Norway.  The vision, hard work and commitment shown by my grandfather and my father before me was my inspiration as I grew passionate about learning as thoroughly as possible about wine.

In 2010, a much larger beverage company made us an offer and we decided to sell the business. The time had come to initiate my own family´s migration to a new land.  My wife, two daughters, and I settled in a small Northern California town dreaming of starting our own artisanal winery.  Early on, we became friends with Carroll Kemp and began sharing life notes, tasting together and searching for vineyards.  These all became key building blocks in the birth of Alma Fria and a friendship that has carried on since.” ~ Jan

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