We embrace a quality focused, traditional Burgundian winemaking approach that begins with hand harvested, optimally ripe grapes from premium coastal, low yield vineyards. All of the vineyards we work with have superior farming practices, but we do have three favorites.
Wine quality begins with the grapes sourced from intensely farmed, low yield vineyards located in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties including Estate Pinot Noir from our Stone Corral Vineyard. All of our grapes are hand harvested under lights or in the coolest morning hours and brought back to the winery for processing. Red grapes are destemmed with nearly 100% whole berries remaining and a 3-4 day cold soak ensues before the start of an average 14 day fermentation. The wine is transferred to a methodical blend of new and neutral French Oak barrels for 16-18 months aging.
White grapes are whole cluster pressed in the Europress, then fermented in both new french oak (30%) and climate controlled stainless steel tanks (70%). The barrel fermented portion of the blend undergoes battanage and is aged sur lie to develop a subtle creamy texture on the midpalate. All wines undergo a complete ML fermentation for stability and balance.
Bien Nacido Vineyard
Bien Nacido Vineyard has become one of the most highly regarded vineyards in California. Their meticulous farming, talented team and blessed environment make them one of our favorites to work with. The quality standards they have set are high and they continue to meet and surpass them, year after year. We currently occupy over 5 acres total of Pinot Blanc, Zb block Syrah and Pinot Noir from 36 year old vines, including Pommard and Martini clones. Slopes vary in between 2% to 30% depending upon block and site. The soils in these blocks range from Los Osos clay loam, elder loam, elder shaly loam, sorrento sandy loam and mocho sandy loam.
Stone Corral Vineyard
Stone Corral Vineyard is a unique venture developed with Talley Vineyards, Stephen Ross Cellars and Kynsi Winery. Careful planning went into the layout of the vineyard, where six to eight foot deep pits were dug to analyze soil profile over the diverse terrain. The soils are marine in origin with many fossils and are very well drained. It has varying soil types, including sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, pebbly clay loam, all fine angular blocky. Many areas have underlying decomposing sandstone layers. Low vigor rootstocks were selected for each specific soild profile; 101-14, 3309 and 1616C. The philosophy of using low vigor is to subdue vegetative growth and fruit set so more energy goes into a lighter crop load for more complex flavors. Three French Dijon clones 667, 777 and 115 were chosen as well as 2A (Wadenswil) a clone from Switzerland. A significant portion of the 2A came from cuttings off the Talley's Rosemary Vineyard.
The origin of the name Stone Corral goes back to San Luis Obispo's mission days in the late 1700's. The temperate climate of the Edna Valley with average rainfall of 24 inches and maritime influence with foggy mornings and warm afternoons produced lush grazing lands for Mission de la Tolosa's vast cattle herds. The mission Indians constructed a large, circular corral made of stacked stones for use in handling their cattle and for thrashing grain. The stone corral was located between two creeks in the heart of the Edna Valley. When the mission lands were divided into ranchos during the early 1800's, the land in the Edna Valley became part of the 30,911 acre Ranch Corral de Piedra. The English translation is Stone Corral Ranch.