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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 spicy 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. The grapes are first sorted to remove bunches that are green or otherwise damaged.
They then go through the most gentle stemmer we could find and finally the grapes are hand sorted to remove jacks and stems that may have made their way past the stemmer. Although we have gentle compressed air pumps the grapes are never pumped during the processing or during fermentation so as not to damage the skins.
Winemaker Comments: 2010 was a very cool Spring and Summer. Once Fall arrived so did the heat. Cool climate spicy aromatics with full ripe grape flavors.
Production: 1,708 cases
Suggested Retail Price: 23.00 / 750ml
To purchase: Lafond Winery & Vineyards