Located on the southwestern edge of the Santa Rita Hills is the awe-inspiring vineyard site known as Bentrock (formerly Salsipuedes). As part of the “Four Corners” of the appellation, this north-facing block is at an elevation of 250 to 500 feet and is blasted daily by cold ocean winds. From the upper reaches of Bentrock, one can see the other Sandhi vineyard sites that are to the west and east. While only a six year-old vineyard, this site is showing incredible potential already and is delivering intensely concentrated, classy and sublime fruit. We believe that Bentrock’s unique location, close proximity to the ocean and exposed orientation creates a perfect environment for producing low-yielding grapes of high quality.
Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay
We feel privileged to have access to this excellent and historic site in the Santa Maria Valley. Our section, Block W, was planted in 1971 to the Wente selection on alluvial soil, loam and river silt and is one of the oldest vineyards in the county. Owned and farmed by the Miller Family, Bien Nacido (meaning “good birth” in Spanish) has long supplied fruit to some of the best producers in California.
Rita’s Crown Chardonnay
This is another very promising site located at the highest elevation in the region, hence the “Crown of Santa Rita”. Planted at 600 to 1000 feet, Rita’s Crown is on diatomaceous soils, which are fossilized seashells and hallmarks of the appellation. This soil creates a mineral thread in the wines while also adding more stress and concentrating the fruit flavors. Furthermore because of its high pitch, this site receives an extraordinary amount of ocean wind further intensifying the fruit. Our sections are south facing receiving ample sun producing slightly riper and juicier fruit than our other bottlings.
Sanford & Benedict
Planted in 1971 by the legendary and pioneering Richard Sanford, this site represents the oldest Pinot Noir plantings in all of Santa Barbara County and is largely synonymous with the creation of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. Tucked into the southeastern corner of the Santa Rita Hills with north-facing blocks, this vineyard is planted on hard, silica gravel and well-drained soils. Because of Richard Sanford’s legacy within the region both as a farmer and a gentlemen, we feel honored to be working with the fruit that he first planted. Our sections come from the oldest blocks where the vine trunks are gnarled producing small amounts of beautiful, concentrated and textured fruit. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blocks are both from the Mount Eden selection, which is widely considered to be some of the first cuttings brought into California.
Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
The fruit for this bottling comes from our sites in the Santa Rita Hills, Santa Maria and Santa Ynez appellations. The average age of most of the vines is over 30 years old from specific parcels of Wente selection that we are lucky to access. We are pleased with this entry-level offering because it is a great introduction to the style of our wines. It will always have pretty aromas of citrus flowers and fruit notes of limes and lemons along with toasty notes from oak. On the palate it will have good structure and plenty of restraint and balance making it a very food-friendly and approachable wine.