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Rated 91 Points by Wine Spectator
"Powerfully crunchy, with plenty of savory accents to the lemongrass and green apple flavors. Fresh finish has a minerally snap.” Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator
Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara 2018
Our 2018 Sanford & Benedict is bright, beautifully layered, and nuanced. Meyer lemon, candle wax, and cut straw all grace this very savory Chardonnay. Orange marmalade, stone fruits, and chamomile work seamlessly with the rich textures on the palate. This wine is natural with richer dishes and even light game.
The Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is where it all began. In 1971 this was the first vineyard planted in what became the world-class, cool-climate Sta. Rita Hills appellation. This iconic vineyard now contains the oldest Chardonnay vines in Santa Barbara County. The 2018 vintage continues this legacy; characterized by great concentration and balance.
Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Named one of the five most important and iconic vineyards in California by Wine Enthusiast, the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is renowned for both its historical significance and the continued quality of the fruit it produces. First planted in 1971, this vineyard is home to the oldest Pinot Noir vines in Santa Barbara County. Today, within this vineyard we still farm 51 acres of vines from the original planting. Another unique aspect of these original plantings is that they were planted on their own root stock (vitis vinifera) and these “own rooted” vines have flourished for more than 45 years.
This vineyard is blessed with calcium rich clay loam soils with a lot of fractured shale and chert- a result of the sloughing off of the top half of this mountain over 1million years ago. Primarily planted to Pinot Noir, the Sanford & Benedict vineyard features more than 20 individual blocks and 11 different clones.
Sta. Rita Hills AVA
In California viticulture, there are few places as unique as the Sta. Rita Hills. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean and east-west traversing valley make this area one of the coolest growing regions in California despite its southerly latitude.
Sanford Winery's Estate Vineyards lie in an area that is unique for its climate, its geography and its geology.
Winery & Vineyards
In the Sta. Rita Hills, it all began with Sanford. In 1971, the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard became the first vineyard in what would become a world-class, cool climate wine-growing region. Sanford Winery has been a pioneer in the Sta. Rita Hills from the beginning and the vineyards and winery continues to thrive, innovate and excel under the vision, guidance, stewardship, leadership, and hands-on participation of the Terlato family.
In the Sta. Rita Hills, it all began with Sanford
Botanist Michael Benedict and his friend Richard Sanford were committed to finding a cool climate region and location with just enough heat accumulation to ripen, but not over ripen, wine grapes. A location where they could plant and grow grapes and craft wines, where the quality might equal the best of the best in Europe.
Michael began researching and touring the cool coastal regions of California in search of a region and site that would suit this mission. After an incredible amount of research, observation, collection of data and analysis, Michael believed he had found the perfect location - one which possessed just the right combination of weather patterns, overall cool climate and varying soil conditions. His analysis took him to a unique part of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County and right to the foot of the property that would ultimately become the Sanford & Benedict vineyard. The first vines were planted in 1971, and soon the Pinot Noir from this remote vineyard created a buzz. Others soon followed, wanting to capture the magic of this place. It was the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard which would form the backbone of what is now the Sta. Rita Hills AVA and it was also this vineyard that supplied the cuttings for many of the surrounding vineyards.
The team of Michael Benedict and Richard Sanford would go separate ways after the 1980 vintage and the Sanford Winery continued its existence. Through the years, Sanford Winery remained notable in the region for its pioneering history and for producing wines of high quality from the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard.
In 1997, La Rinconada Vineyard was planted adjacent to the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard and this site would also become home to the winery building and tasting room. This vineyard shares many of the same ideal characteristics that have made the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard famous while also possessing its own unique and idiosyncratic characteristics. The unique nature of the two vineyards can be identified in the single vineyard wines.
In 2002, the Terlato family became partners in Sanford Winery. They realized that the vineyards and winery operations required additional investments, which they provided, and as a result they became majority owners and managing partners in 2005. The Terlatos were also responsible for re-uniting the estate when they purchased the Sanford & Benedict vineyard in 2007. This was a major initiative and milestone which formed the foundation of their vision, which was to reunite the properties and recreate the Grand Cru nature of the estate.
The Terlato family has been fortunate to have had enjoyed more than a half century of success in multiple facets of the luxury wine industry. They attribute their success to having followed a simple principle: put quality first, as quality endures. They have applied this principle to the vineyards and wine making at Sanford.
The Terlato Family
For more than 70 years, the Terlato family has helped to grow and shape the wine industry in the United States. Through four generations, the family's passion for and commitment to quality has shone through by way of the incredible wines that they have brought to the table of the American wine drinker.
The stability and vision of the family allow for a very long and multi-generational view of vineyard management and winemaking. This ensures that our estate will continue to be sustainably managed and farmed with a focus on healthy vines and a healthy ecosystem, not just short-term returns.
Rated 91 Points by Wine Spectator
"Powerfully crunchy, with plenty of savory accents to the lemongrass and green apple flavors. Fresh finish has a minerally snap.” Kim Marcus
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