The Sta. 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 Sta. 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 essential for the making of fine Chardonnay.
The grapes, which are picked at night, are pressed as whole clusters, stems and all, the stems create channels for the juice to escape, otherwise, the skins would quickly block the openings.The juice is then fermented in barrels.
After fermentation the wine is left on its 'lies', a combination of yeast cells and sediment, periodically stirred, allowed to go through malolactic fermention, racked and bottled almost a year later. The oak barrels, the yeast cells and the sediment all add complexity to the wine.
2016 Chardonnay Musqué Clone Lafond Vineyard
100% Lafond Vineyard Chardonnay
AVA: Sta. Rita Hills
August 3, 2017
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