The 35 acre Brick Barn estate vineyard lies just north of the Santa Ynez River in a largely unexplored winegrowing corridor near the city of Buellton. This is the westernmost vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, uniquely situated between the warmer inland areas of the valley and the cooler environs of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.
With the Pacific Ocean just 10 miles away, the marine influence is forceful. Cool morning fog and evening breezes create a moderating effect that enables the fruit to ripen steadily while maintaining a core of natural acidity and structure. At the same time, sun exposure is persistent across the estate in the afternoons, allowing for the development of rich, layered flavors. This providential interplay of sun and fog ultimately produces fruit with exceptional dimension.
Our white wine grapes are planted in a basin of the Santa Ynez River, surrounding the winery and tasting room. Here, the soils are composed mainly of deep, well-drained sand eroded from ancient waterflows. The vines are trellised in a vertical shoot position and the rows run in a north-south orientation—providing for uniform sun exposure throughout the growing season. The wines grown in these blocks typically present assertive aromas and tenacious acidity—the natural signatures of this terroir.
Our red varieties are planted to an upper highland, on a hilltop overlooking the brick barn and city of Buellton with views stretching from Happy Canyon to Sta. Rita Hills. A natural spine intersects the vineyard from west to east along the top of the highland, and from there the rows follow the sloping contours of the land. The soil here is primarily clay loam with an abundance of sedimentary chert rock and the emergence of limestone to the east. The hallmarks of this terroir are native fruit intensity and a sense of inherent structure.
Under the guidance of Winemaker Adrian Bolshoi and Vineyard Manager Six Puentes, we farm our 35 acres of vineyards sustainably by avoiding chemical fertilizers, pesticides and poisons for rodent control. Our practices have encouraged native birds of prey to frequent our vineyard. These hawks and owls naturally keep the gopher population in check. A similar effect is noted at the micro level, where beneficial native insects are allowed to flourish in the vineyard in order to ward off harmful insects. We also compost organic matter from the grape harvest and reapply it to the vineyard, promoting microbiologically healthy soil. Weed abatement is done with manual tools instead of by chemical means.
This is how our ecosystem was designed to function, and we believe that our wines benefit from this state of natural equilibrium.
We believe that the battle for great wine is won early in the growing season.
We rarely perform leafing during the heart of the growing season. Instead, by performing meticulous shoot thinning early in the season, we are able to cultivate a balanced fruit zone with ideal exposures. The goal is to create a perfect canopy from the outset rather than “managing” the canopy once the fruit is already well on its way.
This provides the best opportunity to achieve true physiological ripeness in the fruit, with color, acidity, flavors and tannins all maturing in synchronicity.
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