Region: Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, California
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Tasting notes: There’s great aromas of chiseled chalk and a sharp lime-juice splash to the nose of this bottling, yet also richer tones of butter, white peach and oak. The oak and butter tones are fairly prominent on the sip as well, but pleasantly so,delivering richness with compellingly tense texture.
Producer: Richard Sanford came to the Santa Ynez Valley 40 years ago with the desire to create wines that would rival the best of France. First to recognize the potential of the Santa Rita Hills (now an officially accredited American Viticultural Area as Sta. Rita Hills), and first to plant Pinot Noir vines there, Richard is a pioneer with a well established reputation for excellence in winemaking. Working in partnership for more than 30 years, Thekla and Richard Sanford founded multiple, successful winegrowing enterprises. Their latest venture, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, represents the culmination of a lifetime's experience – an enterprise dedicated to creating high quality wines and setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods, and environment-friendly commerce.
Vineyard and Winemaking: A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on. The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance. The unique geography, chilly climate, and clay-loam soils attracted Richard Sanford to this area in the early 70s where he pioneered Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. In 1983 he established El Jabali on his home ranch as one of the first organically certified vineyards on the Central Coast. Growing consistently balanced wines through organic farming is part of the enduring legacy of founder Richard Sanford.
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