A very cool season overall, the spring presented early rain and resulted in the delay of the 2011 growing season. Summer temperatures followed suit with a warm spell in August which helped with vine development and even ripening of the fruit. Due to cooler weather, berry size was very small, creating fruit with incredible color, moderate tannins and great perfume with concentrated flavor. We hand harvested all of our blocks on October 13, 2011. After harvest, the wine was fermented with native yeast in all new French oak barrels for 18 months.
The Sta. Rita Hills is one of the premier AVAs for Chardonnay in California. The wines have that rare combination of power and structure that can only be from low yielding, cool-climate, coastal vineyards. The cooler growing conditions in 2011 resulted in a bright and juicy Chardonnay.
Courtney’s Vineyard West is located in the Sta. Rita Hills region of Santa Barbara County. Climbing from 500 to 1,000 feet above sea level, this hilly site is treated as a series of individual micro-vineyards delineated by soil, exposure, elevation, grade, rootstock and clones. The well-draining soils and cool maritime climate make this a perfect spot for Chardonnay. Produced by guest winemaker Leslie Renaud of Foley Estate, this wine shows the clarity and structure typical of its cool climate origins.