We are incredibly fortunate to work and farm in this exceptional winegrowing region, unlike any other in the world. The unique transverse valleys funnel maritime influences through a small appellation replete with variations in soil, aspect and micro-climates to produce a patchwork of sites of character and distinction. One of the coolest climates on the west coast, Sta. Rita Hills also enjoys the longest growing season, making this a veritable paradise for pinot noir and chardonnay. The quality of the vineyards and grapes grown here is rivaled only by the absolute beauty of the region itself.
Our team exclusively farms and manages four “monopole” vineyards.
In the winter of 2007, we were approached by Tom and Jan Davidson who own a beautifully situated property nested between Lafond and Ampelos that had yet to be developed. Thrilled at the prospect of working there with them, we swiftly penned a land lease arrangement and set forth on our first vineyard planting.
The primary emphasis of the predominantly-sandy ten-acre vineyard is chardonnay, with equal amounts of five clones planted (4, 76, Hyde, Mount Eden and Sea Smoke Wente). In addition to chardonnay, there is a smaller field of pinot noir planted to Swan, Pommard and 667.
Looking to secure a mirror-image sister ranch to 3-D, we began working with the Machado family in the winter of 2008. Our fifteen-acre parcel on their land is located adjacent to Clos Pepe and immediately behind the recently-planted Kessler-Haak vineyard. The site is marked by a gorgeous rolling terrain with sandy clay loam soils.
At Machado, the majority of the planting is dedicated to pinot noir with equal amounts of such selections as Pommard, Merry Edwards, Mount Eden and 459. In addition to pinot noir, we also planted a small, two-acre plot in the sandiest portion of the field to the Sweeney Canyon selection of chardonnay.
Hapgood Vineyard is located across the road from our Machado vineyard and is situated immediately next to the Acin parcel at the end of Hapgood Road. The 2012 vintage is a special vintage for us in that it marks the first release of our Hapgood single-vineyard offering.
In slightly richer soil, the vineyard is planted to the Mount Eden selection of chardonnay and multiple clones of pinot noir. The elevated clay loam content results in larger volume and a more dense palate expression.
Planted on a gentle, north facing incline across the Highway from Melville and Babcock is our Acin parcel. This sandy vineyard is planted to clone 828 & 459 pinot noir and clones 72 (Wente), Mt. Eden and 96 for chardonnay.
The chardonnay budwood is a Wente selection taken from the original Nielsen Vineyard planted in Santa Maria in 1964.