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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2011 Pinot Grigio
Santa Barbara County

2011 Pinot Grigio

Technical Details

93% Pinot Grigio
7% AlbariƱo

Vineyard Sources:
63% Clover Creek
40% Lucas & Lewellen (Pinot Grigio)
100% Clover Creek (AlbariƱo)

Production: 232 cases
Alcohol by volume: 12.5
pH: 3.10
Titratable acidity: .64g/100ml
Cellaring potential: One to two years
Bottle price: $19

It’s been easy to become complacent here in Santa Barbara County with our consistent weather, but Mother Nature has a way of rudely reminding us who really is in charge.  And she did so with a vengeance in 2011.

Several nights of severe frosts in April affected many of the vineyards in our area including Alisos Vineyard, one of our sources for Pinot Grigio. As a result there was estimated to be less than a ton of fruit from my section, which was too little for us to work with.  Fortunately, I was able to quickly source some fruit from the Lucas & Lewellen Vineyard in Los Alamos. Our other source for Pinot Grigio, Clover Creek Vineyard in Santa Ynez, experienced a greatly reduced crop yield of 1.3 tons per acre. This explains why this year’s production of Pinot Grigio is dramatically reduced. On the positive side, the quality is exceptional. 

We followed our traditional procedures of fermenting in a stainless steel refrigerated tank, racking the wine after fermentation, and then allowing the wine to rest before being bottled in March 2012. For the sake of added complexity, and to increase our volume, I blended in a small amount of Albariño.

The wine has a pale straw color with a hint of gold in the edges. The nose has floral notes with pear and spice nuances. On the palate, the wine is light to medium bodied with strong flavors of pears and spice. The wine has a nice viscous mid-palate texture but finishes with crisp acidity.  The balance is exceptional.

Enjoy this wine with seafood salads, fish and chicken dishes.

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