Rita's Crown is a vineyard that is located at the highest elevation in the Santa Rita Hills, hence the “Crown of Santa Rita”. It sits above Seasmoke and Mt. Carmel vineyards on the south facing side of Santa Rosa Road.
Our rows are Pinot Noir, Clone 115, planted at the highest elevation, of the highest vineyard - about 1000 feet. Rita’s Crown Vineyard, and specifically our rows, sit on a bed of diatomaceous soils (fossilized seashells). These soils creates a mineral note in the wines while also adding more stress and concentrating the fruit flavors. The ancient seabed soils are large part of what makes Santa Rita Hills so special.
Also, because of its high elevation, and steep slope, this site receives an extraordinary amount of ocean wind which reduces the yields to less than 1.5 tons per acre, making super-intense fruit. Our rows are south facing receiving ample sun producing a ripe and juicy style of Pinot.
The hand-picked grapes were picked at night and fermented with about 25% whole clusters to add tannin structure and aromatic complexity. The wine was aged for 11 months in 2 year old and older French oak barrels and never racked before bottling in September of 2012.
We produced 3 barrels of this wine.