Estate Grown and Bottled
We hand craft our wines with integrity using traditional methods from grapes sustainably grown in our Santa Barbara County vineyard. Since 1973, we have farmed and nurtured our vineyard to produce wines that are true to the unique spirit of our land. We began growing Rhone varieties in 1978 when we were the first to plant Syrah in Santa Barbara County. Over the years, we have learned that wines indigenous to the Rhone Valley of France are ideally suited to our estate.
Our vineyard soils are Chamise Loam which are well-drained soils that developed over gravelly beds of silt and clay, and sandy water-deposited materials. These soils are on dissected high terraces (or mesas) with elevations of 1500 feet above sea level. This high elevation provides cooler nights, which translates into wines retaining their natural acidity. Since 1997, the winery has replanted more than half of its original vines with a high-density planting of new rootstock and clone combinations.
Growing Season and Harvest
2010 was an exceptionally cool and long growing season for the Santa Ynez Valley. Summer did not give us the usual heat we expect, leading to fruit that developed at a very slow and steady pace. Picking began in late-September, about a month behind normal, while finishing in mid-November. The mild year provided flavor development without excess sugar for wines of great quality and beautiful balance.
After hand harvesting, this Chardonnay was gently whole cluster pressed. Forty percent of the juice was barrel fermented and aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, for complexity and richness. The remaining 60% percent remained in stainless steel tanks to retain its fresh fruit characters. Both portions were not allowed to go through malolactic fermentation to preserve their lively flavors.
With over 35 years experience growing Chardonnay on our estate; the coolest sections of our vineyard have reliably produced our distinctive style. These sections are planted with two complimentary clones of Chardonnay: Wente adds subtle nutmeg and clove notes and Mt. Eden brings tropical fruit flavors.
Be patient, it was just released!