New Release 2013 Santa Barbara Winery Rosé of Syrah

2013-rose-of-syrah-bottle-glass-webThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Valley runs west to east permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are essential to the developement of Pinot Noir providing the necessary acid/sugar balance.

In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection.

Winemaker’s Comments: The grapes were destemmed and hand sorted, followed by an overnight cold soak on the skins prior to pressing for proper color intensity. A cool fermentation took place entirely in stainless steel tanks. Plum aromas and flavors with some cool climate spice.

Suggested retail: 17.00/750ml
To Order: www.sbwinery.com

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2012 Sata Rita Hills Pinot Noir

2012-pinot-noir-glass-webThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Valley runs west to east permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are essential to the developement of Pinot Noir providing the necessary acid/sugar balance.

In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection.

Winemaker’s Comments: This Pinot Noir includes 9 clones fermented in 19 separate tanks. The grapes are from our 3 vineyards with varying terrain. This is truly an expression of Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
To Order: www.sbwinery.com

Spring Images from the Vineyard by David

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More Images of Spring

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Santa Barbara Winery Releases 2011 McGinley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2011-cabernet-sauvignon-b-gl-webAfter over a quarter century of making Cabernet Sauvignon from our Lafond Vineyard, Winemaker Bruce McGuire is now sourcing this grape from the warmer, eastern side of the Santa Ynez Valley.

This 2011 vintage is from a low vigor block in the warmer Happy Canyon appellation, on the Los Padres side of Hwy 154. Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is the newest of five Santa Barbara County AVAs as of 2009, located in the north-east Santa Ynez Valley.

It is described as a bucolic canyon of hillside vineyards. Differentiated from the rest of Santa Barbara County, it has decidedly hotter temperatures and a high-magnesium mineral terroir.

These unique factors and micro- climate make this area suitable for producing Bordeaux varietals with concentrated flavors and a ripe fruit quality that has been difficult to achieve in the cooler areas of Santa Barbara County.

Winemaker’s comments: Our Block, on an elevated Mesa, has small low vigor vines that produce rich concentrated fruit. A 53 days maceration on the skins provides textural length to the persistent finish.

(Extended maceration is the process of keeping a wine, which has fermented dry, in contact with the skins instead of pressing it. The cap in this process has a tendency to rise to the top and the winemaker must push it down, two or three times a day, to maintain contact.)

Suggested retail 32.00/750ml
To order: www.sbwinery.com

Valentine’s Celebration at Lafond Winery

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Drain Installation Lafond Vineyard

2.12.14.installing-drainThe image is of our contractor installing a 4′ diametere drain pipe under the ‘bench’ so that in rainy years, you remember, the vines are not washed away.

On our ‘bench’, an area of about 2.5 acres we formerly had Riesling, which we just pulled out. We will be re-planting with Grenache using clones that Winemaker Bruce McGuire has carefully selected. From our own experience and that of others, the Santa Rita Hills Appelation, can produce some very exciting wines from Grenache.

The 2013 vintage was the last for the ‘bench’. The vines were not producing and many had died but in a final effort gave us some excellent botrytis infected late harvest Riesling which we will bottle later this Spring.

Lafond Winery, Saturday, February 15th from 11:00am to 4:00pm

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Come Join us

We will be pouring all Red Wine paired with wonderful local Stawberries, fresh from the fields, dipped in Chocolate. The usual Decadent Brownies will also be present. The Barrel Room, which is filled with barrels and very pictureque, will be open.
No reservations are needed. There is a 10.00 Tasting Fee for four Wines. And as usual there is no charge for Wine Club Members.

Rain

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But not much.

Winter Images

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Santa Barbara Winery Wine Club – Pick up your Wine Party

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New Rlease Lafond Winery 2011 SRH Syrah

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The Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.

The Valley runs west to east permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection. In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are what gives our Santa Rita Hills Syrah its spicey rich complex flavors.

Our grapes are picked at night so that when they are processed in the morning the temperature in the fermenters can be quickly dropped allowing the maximum extraction of flavor.

Winemaker’s Comments: This SRH bottling continues to showcase the cool climate character of Syrah as grown in the Santa Rita Hills. 2011 was a cool and a late harvest with a small crop. In spite of the coolness the vines matured well and we picked at optimum ripeness. The wine shows intensity and complexity.

Wine Spectator 88 ‘Fresh and zesty, with dark berry, pepper and chewy tannins lending personality and depth. Tightens up on the finish. Drink now through 2019.’

Gold Medal San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Suggested Retail: 23.00
To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

The PassionateVegetable by Suzanne Landry

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Last Day of Pressing

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These are the last grapes to be pressed. They have undergone extended maceration (skin and wine contact) for 55 days. Two tanks were pressed both of Grenache. When we stem Grenache the grapes come out like marbles. They are thick skinned and do not crush easily.

As a result they are made to order for extended maceration and much of the fermentation occurs within the grape imparting a very unique flavor. The longer skin contact allows the wine to extract more color. Tasting the wine off the press makes us aware of how complex and dark this wine will be.

1978

12.16.13-Pierre-Biil-crew-color-1978One of our first harvests at Lafond Vineyards. Pierre and Vineyard Manager Bill Collins talking to crew.

Salade

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12.14.13--pascale-beale-2A cooking demonstration by Pascale Beale, the author of four seasonal cookbooks, introducing her new cookbook ‘Salade’. Pascale’s demonstrations are always popular and her books are particularly suited to our climate and our increasing awareness for where our food comes from. Her dishes are wonderful companions to our wines.

Late Harvest Riesling December 10, 2013

Photos bt David Lafond

Post Harvest

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2013-harvest-35Although harvest ended several weeks ago there are still tanks to press. These are wines that have gone through extended maceration, keeping the fermented wine in contact with the skins, until Bruce determines that the flavors have moved where he wants them.

Barrelling

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2013-harvest-37After pressing, the wine needs to go in barrels. Carlos is tightening the hoops on a barrel and while filling another appears to be nourishing himself. All for a good cause.

New Release – 2011 Santa Barbara Winery Primitivo

Joughin Vineyard 2011 Primitivo

2011-primitivo-b+cs-web Andy Joughin, our Vineyard Manager for many years, was looking for interesting grapes to plant in his small home vineyard in the Los Olivos area of the Santa Ynez Valley. Varieties that would have a niche value and not compete with the more common ones. Andy consulted winemaker Bruce McGuire who recommended several Italian red varietals.

One of these was Primitivo, the primary grape of the Puglia region of Italy. Los Olivos, in the central area of the Santa Ynez Valley, has a climate similar to that of Puglia.

The vineyard is small, less than 10 acres, and each variety is three acres or less. Since Andy’s retirement Lafond Vineyards has been managing the vineyard. The small lots, that these grapes produce, are part of our program of offering special bottlings, of limited distibution, of interesting and unusual wines.

Recent DNA analysis has shown that Primitivo and California’s Zinfandel are genenetically similar. Zinfandel was, until this discovery, a grape of mystery, and its origins unknown. Primitivo or Zinfandel, the Joughin Vineyard has produced exceptional wines year after year.

Winemaker’s comments: 2011 was a small concentrated vintage due to poor fruit set in the spring. This is the 11th crop from the Joughin Vineyard, as vines become more mature the level of concentation and depth increases.
Retail: 28.00
To Order: www.sbwinery.com