Located within a picturesque stretch of Santa Barbara County, our vineyards grow seven Rhône varieties at the northernmost portion of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. In addition to the oldest block of Syrah planted on the Central Coast, we now have nine clones of Syrah planted throughout our vineyards.
Our vineyards sit 25 miles from the Pacific Ocean between the San Rafael and Santa Ynez Mountain ranges, at an elevation of 1300 – 1600 feet. This elevation gives the vineyards better exposure to the ocean breezes that funnel inland through the transverse mountain ranges, allowing the vines to thrive in both the cool climate to the west and the warm climate to the east. This gives our vineyards a unique advantage for growing dynamic, yet balanced Rhône varieties.
The soils in our vineyard are derived from the Chamise Soil Series and Elder Soil Series. They are heavily influenced by a large number of water-rounded fragments of Monterey Shale found within the soil. With an impermeable hardpan layer, only 24 to 36 inches below the Mesa and Chapel blocks, the vines must persevere within a relatively thin, nutrient-poor soil. This rocky, sandy soil holds very little water and provides the stress needed to produce complex, mineral-driven wines.
One of the many unique attributes of Zaca Mesa is the wild sagebrush that surrounds our vineyards. The sticky sap and pungent aromas of the sagebrush undoubtedly make their way onto the grapes during growing season, giving our wines their signature wild herb or sage-like aromas and flavors.
All of these elements create a distinctive personality that can only be found at Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards, making it one of the most unique winegrowing sites in Santa Barbara County.
At Zaca Mesa, we have embraced the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing to ensure the health and sustainability of our vineyard, our employees, our neighbors, and our environment. To foster a healthier environment, we use organic products, conserve energy and water, and efficiently use materials to reduce waste. We only farm one-third of our total acreage, leaving open space for wildlife and to preserve natural groundwater. Our goal is to achieve balance in our vineyard by learning to work with nature and view our estate as one living, breathing system.