Dates: Sept. 16, 2014
Sugar: 24.4 Brix
100% Hilltop Ranch
Fermented in 5, 130 gal.
puncheons - 20%new
100% barrel fermented
100% Malolactic fermentation
'Sur lie' 9 months
with regular 'batonnage'
Total Acid: .71
Production: 247 Cases
Date Bottled: Aug. 4, 2015
Santa Rita Hills
2014 Hilltop Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay
The Santa Rita Hills AVA is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
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 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.
Winemaker Comments: This Chardonnay is from a 34 year old vineyard, serlf rooted in a sand and gravel old river bed. The low vigor vines and well exposed small berries give the wine a concentrated expression of fruit.
Suggested Retail Price: 32.00
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