Lincourt Vineyards was the first winery founded by Bill Foley in 1996. Located a few miles north of Santa Barbara, California, the winery is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills wine-growing region, an AVA known for its renowned cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The estate owes its name to Foley’s daughters, Lindsay and Courtney. Most of the wines at Lincourt are in fact named after women from the family, like Bill’s mother Zoula Nunn, and Carol Ann, his wife, including names of his daughters, grandmother, and aunt.
Grapes for these wines are sourced from two estate vineyards situated in the cool, coastal climes of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, along with vines in the warmer, in-land Santa Ynez Valley. While Burgundian-varieties are the mainstay between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Lincourt also makes inky and brooding estate Cabernet Sauvignon and small-lot, cool-climate Syrah.
Diving deeper into the world of Lincourt and for some insight into guest experiences, we talked to Chase Yost, Sr. Manager, Guest Services at Lincourt.
Q: Chase, before we dive into Lincourt, what was your first job in wine?
Chase Yost (CY): My first wine job was harvest 2013 at Carhartt Vineyard (Lincourt Vineyards’ closest neighbor). Then, I landed at a full-time wine sales job working at Beckmen Vineyards Estate in Los Olivos, California. And in 2015, I decided to start my own wine business and produced small-batch wines for my Grandfather’s WWII 100th Bomb Group.
Q: How did you end up at Lincourt in 2018?
CY: I’m literally the boy next door—I grew up in the yellow ranch house directly next door to Lincourt, while in high school. I’m a fourth-generation Santa Barbara-Santa Ynez Valley native and my family roots run deep in this valley. When I was looking for a new challenge, I landed a role as the Assistant Tasting Room Manager and ran the historic Firestone Vineyards Tasting Room, our sister property. I ran Firestone for a year, and then made the transition over to Lincourt Vineyards, my old neighbor. (Life is weird)!
Q: Lincourt Vineyards was not always a vineyard, was it? And what can you tell us about the home on the property?
CY: One of the coolest facts about Lincourt is its history. The land, that once was an old valley dairy farm, now is the host of a remodeled 1926 Sears’ Craftsman Kit home. This home has been used to serve thousands of guests a year from all over the world for decades and has even been featured in a movie or two (on Hallmark Channel).
Q: What can guests expect for current experiences at Lincourt?
CY: We are currently operating outdoors in a COVID-era fashion, and providing best-in-class seated table service to our guests. Our team is doing an excellent job of providing an extremely safe environment for our guests and we’re having fun being at the vineyard and adapting.
Q: Lincourt’s Director of Winemaking is Lorna Kreutz. How would you characterize the style of wine helmed by Kreutz?
CY: Lorna is truly a force to be reckoned with. She sees wines like they are people. Each one is a different personality, a different character. Lorna produces wines of character and place. A chef never tells their secrets, but I would say her style is to produce small-lot fermentations, extracting the best of what each site has to offer. Native yeast fermentations and sustainable farming methods. Our reds showcase amazing fruit, solid tannin structure, great acid, soft mouthfeel, and a lengthy finish. Our whites show great minerality and acid with incredible precision of oak influence. Lorna is one of the best winemakers and artists in the Central Coast, and she proves it, again and again, every vintage. We’re glad she’s on our team.
Q: Tell us about the types of experiences you offer consumers at Lincourt?
CY: Covid has changed the way that we operate at Lincourt, but only in the best of ways. We provide a very safe and socially distanced setting with outdoor seated table service by reservation five days a week, Thurs-Monday. (We hope to expand to seven days a week in the near future.) A tasting consists of five (5) of our seasonal offerings, usually sprinkled by our famous Rosé of Grenache or a hidden stash of library treats. We offer tastings of wine by the glass and by the bottle. Guests can hang out under the umbrella in Adirondack chairs, get some fresh air and enjoy some Carol Ann Chardonnay in the sun with the family. We’re offering a new “bottle service picnic” experience starting this week. For a small deposit (to be used towards wine purchases) guests can bring their own picnic or purchase one of our catered offerings and enjoy a bottle on the lawn with the family or friends. We provide a large branded Lincourt picnic blanket—which guests get to keep—two Lincourt logo glasses, and a 2-hour mini-vacation with vineyard views. It’s relaxing among the vineyards at its finest!
Q: For those new to Lincourt, where should they start in terms of wines?
CY: For any first-time visitors, I recommend sitting at a table on our Veranda deck, overlooking the estate Sauvignon Blanc vines, while tasting the Sauvignon Blanc—that’s a good place to start. Sauvignon Blanc is a bright, acidic, mineral-driven staple of Lincourt, and is a super user-friendly wine.
Q: Anything we left out that you want the world to know about Lincourt?
CY: Lincourt is a pretty wild place in terms of being out in nature. From wild turkeys to weasels to crawdads to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we have you covered. We are located at one of the hottest sites in the Santa Ynez Valley, right on the border of Los Olivos and Solvang. The unique landscape allows us to grow some of the best Bordeaux offerings the valley has to offer, right on site. Our friendly staff is the best in class and we aim to educate and teach each person who visits, something new. We encourage all to experience ‘the life of leisure at Lincourt,’ and to expand and explore all that the Foley Food & Wine Society has to offer.
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