Sta. Rita Hills
SANFORD & BENEDICT VINEYARD
The Sanford & Benedict vineyard, located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, was planted in 1971 and is home to the oldest Pinot Noir vines in Santa Barbara County. The soils in the western Santa Ynez Valley have lower quantities of clay than other areas of the valley. They are comprised of Gazos clay loam, with 15% to 30% slopes, and Santa Lucia shaley clay loam, with 9% to 15% slopes in blocks 5, 6 and 10. The area receives foggy mornings and long, cool days, resulting in a longer growing season and lower yields.
Santa Barbara County
LOS ALAMOS VINEYARD
Los Alamos lies between the cool Santa Maria Valley appellation to the north and the warmer Santa Ynez Valley appellation to the south. The region seems to have the best characteristics of both appellations. To date the Los Alamos Valley does not have a federally approved appellation and wines are labeled under the more generic Santa Barbara County designation.
Perched at an elevation of 800 ft (high for Santa Barbara), Los Alamos is characterized by its cool climate, intense California sunshine, and most importantly it’s sand and lime soils. This leads to intensely mineral and citrus driven Chardonnay, while the Pinot Noir exudes red fruit, lavender, and rosemary.
Santa Maria Valley
BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD
Located 18 miles from the ocean in the Santa Maria Valley, the Bien Nacido Vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vines grow in soils comprised of the Elder series and Shedd series. The Elder series consists of two blocks, found on flood plains and alluvial fans with an elevation range of 100 to 1,500 feet, with 9% to 15% slopes. The site experiences an average annual rainfall of 12 to 18 inches. Just uphill along the road is where the well-drained, Chamise clay loams of the Shedd series can be found. Slopes here are 30% to 45% and elevations range from 200 to 2,500 feet, with an average annual rainfall of 14 to 16 inches.