BARDEN Wines sources grapes solely from the world-class vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills.
The Pacific Ocean’s marine layer and afternoon ocean breezes traverse the coastal valley corridors between the Purisima Hills and the Santa Rosa Hills, creating the perfect environment for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other cool climate wine grape varieties.
Although the first vineyard in our region, Sanford and Benedict, was planted in 1971, it was not until 1997 that Wes Hagen and his group of merry marauders could be seen tromping through the hills of our valley taking soil samples, studying elevation levels and compiling data on degree days.
With a total area of 30,720 acres, the Sta. Rita Hills AVA is home to over 59 vineyards, totaling 2,700 hundred acres planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and 18 other cool climate wine grape varieties.
John Sebastiano is a newer vineyard on the eastern side of Sta. Rita Hills with a variety of microclimates. The relatively windy location limits yields resulting in concentrated flavors. The vineyard site is series of rolling hills with windswept ridges and gentle slopes. The soil is a blend of sandy loam with integrated limestone benches. The ideal southwestern exposure combines to yield fruit of uncommon complexity and concentration.
Located seven miles from the ocean, La Encantada Vineyard is one of the westernmost vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills and is one of the coolest sites in the region. La Encantada is one of the first certified organic vineyards in Santa Barbara Country. The vineyard is planted on a ridge which straddles the Santa Ynez River Valley and is open to the full impact of the cooling afternoon maritime breezes.
The 100 acre vineyard was planted in 2000 by Thekla and Richard Sanford to 96 acres Pinot Noir, 1.9 acres Pinot Blanc, and 1.5 acres Pinot Gris. The soils of the La Encantada Vineyard are derived from the Monterey Formation. The calcareous and siliceous soils include Chamise sandy loam in block six and both Tierra clay loam and Ballard fine sandy loam.
Purchased in 2011 by Hillside Road LLC, the tradition lives on through carefully managed Certified Organic farming and close relationships with a small number of passionate winemakers striving, successfully, to produce some of the most revered wines in the AVA.
La Rinconada is planted exclusively with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vineyard sits on a well-drained, west facing steep slopes. The soil is comprised of Santa Lucia shaley clay loam. Due to the heavy Pacific fog which pools in this valley vineyard, it is an ideal region for cool-climate varietals.
Radian vineyard is located on the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills where it sits on dramatically steep slopes with large amounts of diatomaceous earth in the soil. Wide sections are planted with exposure to the high winds which cool the vineyard and deprive it of moisture. Vines here struggle with the fruit set which results in tiny crops of small clusters. As a result, we get wines which are lean and intense with remarkable flavor, even at low alcohol levels.
Sanford & Benedict
The Sanford & Benedict vineyard was planted in 1971, making it one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills. The soils here have lower quantities of clay than other areas of the valley. They are comprised of Gazos clay loam and Santa Lucia shaley clay loam. The area receives foggy mornings and long, cool days, resulting in a longer growing season and lower yields. It has been named one of the five most important vineyards in California by Wine Enthusiast and numerous producers seek to buy its fruit each year, often creating their own vineyard designated wines from Sanford & Benedict.
Located on the eastern end of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA on Santa Rosa Road, Peake Ranch is a 105-acre parcel with 50 acres of vines. The plantings include seven different clones of Pinot Noir, three clones of Chardonnay and two each of Syrah and Grenache. The plantings are all along a hill that covers most of the ranch, exposing the vines to the cool air that comes off the Pacific and into the Santa Ynez Valley. The combination of North, South, East and West facing slopes coupled with the exposure to varying degrees of the cool wind give the vineyard a diversity of fruit flavor profiles that is unique for a ranch of our size.
Family owned and organically farmed, Donnachadh Vineyard is located on Santa Rosa Road, in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County. The property is 285 acres with approximately 40 acres under vine. The vineyard consists of two main parts: the hillside blocks, and the riverside blocks.
Spear Vineyards & Winery is a family owned, sustainable and certified organic vineyard nestled in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation. Spear Vineyards were planted in 2014 along the Highway 246 corridor and within the interior of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. These are amongst the highest elevation plantings in the famed appellation. Peaking at 900’ above sea level, there are currently 34 acres in production representing six different grape varietals on a multitude of diverse clonal, rootstock, orientation, elevation and soil combinations.
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