Wenzlau Vineyard sits on the western edge of the Santa Rita Hills AVA in Lompoc, CA. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are grown on 12-½ acres that are split into a lower vineyard (Chardonnay) and an upper vineyard (Pinot Noir). The two vineyards sit in the middle of a 100-acre parcel, so the vines are surrounded by 88 acres of open, natural terrain. Aside from the breathtaking beauty, the benefits to this up-down topography are clear. The lower vineyard fronts onto the Santa Ynez River where the 5 acres of Chardonnay vines grow in silty soil and river rock. The grapes ripen slowly because they sit under a blanket of fog until mid-day, from the nearby Pacific Ocean. Adjacent to the 5 acres of Chardonnay is a ½ acre fruit orchard, which brings an abundance of pollinators, as well as lots of beautiful fruit. There is a steep canyon leading to the upper vineyard with 7-½ acres of Pinot Noir grapes. The upper vineyard gets a cool, steady breeze from the Pacific Ocean, which is just 7 miles away. This allows the grapes to ripen slowly to maximize flavor without the sugar spike (and high alcohol) brought on by hotter climates. The abundance of open space, cool climate, air circulation and ample supply of pollinators create a naturally healthy, well-balanced eco-system. The basis of the philosophy is simple. Provide the healthiest possible environment for the vines to thrive and then get out of nature’s way. Their organic farming is based on a system of cover crops, composting and hand farming, with minimal irrigation. In 2011 they farmed bio-dynamically to learn about those practices that benefit the specific plot. While they work hard to provide ample attention to the vines, they realize that Mother Nature is really in charge. In the end, it is the cool, breezy climate at Wenzlau Vineyard that makes it a sweet spot for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

WINES

Pinot Noir

South facing slopes.
Clones 115, 667, and 2A.
Organic.
25% whole cluster.
Low alcohol (12.6%).
15 months in barrel (30% new French oak), racked to tank for a few months and has been resting in bottle about 6 months.
No acidification or chaptalization.