The fruit comes exclusively from the two estate vineyards in the cool-climate area of Sta. Rita Hills AVA: the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard and the La Rinconada Vineyard. The unusual east-west orientation of the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains, allows cooling maritime breezes from the Pacific Ocean- just seven miles away- to flow over the vineyards, bringing with them morning fog. Afternoon breezes dry out any residual moisture and reduce disease pressure on the vines and clusters. This distinctive mesoclimate promotes a long growing season. The vineyard is split into 52 blocks, each with an individual soil composition and microclimate. Broadly, the marine based soils in the ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ are a mixture of clay, loam, fractured shale and chert (rocky soil) which force the vine’s roots to dig deep into the soil for nutrients and hydration. The result is naturally low yields of small-berried, concentrated fruit delivering excellent minerality and acidity. The ‘La Rinconada Vineyard’ is made up of sandy, gravelly soil, which imparts precise minerality.
The 100% estate fruit was hand-harvested, carefully selected and then gently destemmed. Each block was vinified separately, to reflect the personality of the vineyard. The grapes were whole bunch pressed into French oak where the juice underwent barrel fermentation. The wine spent eight and a half months maturing in 225 litre French oak barrels, of which 20% was new, to ensure the essence of the fruit and the nuances of the terroir were preserved, while obtaining a soft texture balanced by vibrant acidity.