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2018 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County

In 2018, we selected Chardonnay grapes from three different vineyards across Santa Barbara County: Rancho Real and the famed Sierra Madre in Santa Maria Valley and Loma Verde near Los Alamos. The Santa Maria Valley is only one of two east-west valleys in California to funnel in ocean breezes and fog in the evening, which ultimately extends the growing season. Located only 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vines are planted in sandy soils atop bluffs that receive frequent cooling breezes. The 2018 harvest got off to a chilly start with a cooler than usual spring setting us for a long, slow ripening period. The mild summer pushed our harvest for this wine back into October. We think it was well worth the wait.

 

Following 100% hand-harvesting, we whole-cluster pressed the bunches and clarified the juice for two days prior to racking. Fermentation occurred in concrete eggs, imparting a noticeable minerality while keeping the lees suspended throughout aging. This season, the wine was refreshed by natural acidity and thus did not complete any malolactic fermentation.

 

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