Our vineyards are in the extreme western
part of Santa Barbara County where our family has been
farming for generations. The Cargasacchi Vineyard
was planted in 1998 on the ranch just off Sweeney Road.
It comprises twelve acres of Pinot Noir, all of which
are clone 115. The Jalama Vineyard is a few
miles to the west – one of the most western vineyards
in California and definitely one of the coolest climate
vineyards for Pinot Noir in the state. This sixteen-acre
vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The
Levante vineyard was planted in 2008 and is
made up entirely of Pinot Noir.
Two of the vineyards
- Cargasacchi and Levante - are in the Sta. Rita Hills
appellation and Jalama is just to the west of the appellation
boundary. Back when Sta. Rita Hills was designated,
there was a question as to whether the increased marine
influence would mean warmer winter temperatures and
that the vines would not go dormant every winter.
The Sta.Rita Hills appellation and
the region to its west represent an extreme area for
winegrowing - a typical day starts with a marine layer
of fog that burns off around 10am; then as things warm
up, a wind from the Ocean picks up, bringing cooler
temperatures, and eventually that marine fog again.
These weather patterns produce a very long grape-growing
season, producing very well developed flavors and tannins
in the resulting wines.
The area is also the bed of an ancient
sea, so there are large deposits of diatomaceous earth
in and around the vineyards. This limestone produces
a discernable edge and minerality in the wines.