Rancho La Vina sits on the far western outskirts of the Santa. Rita Hills roughly 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The ranch is a 2,800acre remnant of the Santa Rosa Land Grant purchased in the 1860’s. In addition to Pinot Noir, they grow a variety of other crops that are uniquely suited to the cool climate, and the crops have shifted with changing economies over time. What started with sheep moved to cattle, from oat to hay, dry Lima beans and mustard to walnuts, Pinot Noir and heirloom tomatoes.
It’s amazing to still find sites like Rancho La Vina that are so exposed, so on the fringe of what can get ripe – through their struggle to survive make some of the most intense, expressive wines.
To make this wine, we hand-harvested the fruit, and left about 25% of the whole clusters in the fermentation – the rest was de-stemmed. After a 5-day cold soak, the fermentation started spontaneously with native yeasts. We punched down 1 or 2 times / day and pressed at dryness after about 12 days total on skins. The wine was aged in 2 year old and neutral french oak. It wasn’t racked until bottling. We bottled 84 cases of this wine – unfined, and unfiltered, in Feb of 2015.
The result is a deep, perfumed wine. 2013 Pinot Noir Rancho La Vina is laced with spice, dark plum and menthol, all of which blossoms in the glass effortlessly. Savory and floral notes are just beginning to develop in what looks to be a hugely promising Pinot to drink over the next several years.