Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
/ Sta. Rita Hills
The Chardonnay grapes are sourced from vines planted on rolling hills near the cooling Pacific Ocean. After harvest, the grapes are gently whole-cluster pressed and transferred to tanks for cold settling. The juice is then inoculated with yeast and racked to French oak barrels, where it undergoes fermentation, with stirring of the lees for added texture and complexity. Partial malolactic fermentation is allowed. All lots are kept separate throughout vinification and aging to ensure greater character, distinctiveness and quality. The wine is aged in oak barrels before bottling.
Ultimate Wine Challenge2014 vintage
Wine Enthusiast2014 vintage
This is a bright, juicy Chardonnay with aromas of honeydew melon, brioche, green apple and baking spices. Lively acidity accompanies flavors of banana, toasted oak, and honey, which coat the palate. Silky viscosity precedes a lengthy finish.
Perfect paired with clam chowder or Chicken Dijon, this Chardonnay's combination of structure and concentration helps it stand up to a wide array of dishes, including poultry and rich fish and seafood, like lobster and salmon.
points of distinction
- A rich Chardonnay with 17 months of oak aging and the buttery qualities associated with the style.
vineyard details +
Rancho Santa Rosa
A 460-acre property of which 230 acres are planted to vines, Rancho Santa Rosa is located on steep, south-facing hillsides with limestone soils—elements of terroir that are essential to Burgundian-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vintners. Pinot Noir grows at the highest reaches of the ranch, with elevations to 1,000 feet. The Chardonnay is established on the rolling hills surrounding the winery. There are also four acres of Syrah planted on the western corridor. The Rancho Santa Rosa vineyard is subdivided into 59 microblocks that are farmed, harvested and vinified separately, which allows a meticulous level of observation and management of the vineyards, and vinification according to the specific requirements of each small block of fruit. A variety of soil types matched to appropriate rootstocks, and a broad array of clonal selections also give the winemaking team the opportunity to make wines of great diversity and character.
about the grape +
Though it has a distinctive profile, Chardonnay reflects other factors such as soil composition and vinification technique. Chardonnay is a reliable, hardy and prolific vine whose only real vulnerabilities are frost and uneven development of fruit.
– Lorna Kreutz, Winemaker
“Our austere growing conditions and intense farming practices create wines that are elevated, elegant and aromatic.”