Grapes from two venerable mountain vineyards produced a medium bodied wine with aromas of pineapple, tangerine, roasted hazelnuts, wet stones and herbs. The inviting flavors of citrus, pear, vanilla cream, butter and toasted oak are cushioned by a velvety texture and unctuous mouthfeel above a framework of balanced acidity. Food pairings: baked halibut topped with sliced tomatoes and herbes de Provence (that complement the herbs on the nose of the wine), three-cheese baked ziti with basil-pistachio pesto, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Age 3 - 5 years.
A renowned wine region since the late 1800s, the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the first AVAs to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The east and west boundaries are defined by elevation: down to 800 and 400 feet in the east and west, respectively. The footprint lies mostly within Santa Cruz County, but it extends into parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
In 2013, fruit was sourced from two neighboring, but contrasting vineyards in the Summit Road district near the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Both are at 2,000 feet of elevation and 10 aerial miles from the coast.
Wright’s Station Vineyard occupies a dramatic setting near Summit Road above Los Gatos. Facing San Francisco Bay, the dry-farmed 1980 planting benefits from high elevations and deep sandy-loam soils. Vines thrive in this friendly environment to spawn wines with a wonderful mix of mid-palate viscosity and balanced acidity.
Skyland Vineyard is a one-acre, dry farmed 1999 planting on Skyland Ridge that lies within sight of Monterey Bay. Steeply terraced, it offers sandy-loam mountain soils and extended periods of sunlight from full southern exposure. The close proximity to the coast induces mild summer days and radical temperature plunges at sunset. These extremities are stressful to the vines, but they payoff in wines with complex aromas, deep flavors and bright acidity.
Vintage 2013 was the second consecutive year having both a drought and a bumper crop. It began with light rain in January after a wet December. Budbreak was on time in March, but a warm, dry spring prompted early bloom and berry set. The west coast was subjected to a 10-day heat wave at the start of summer with some inland wine regions surpassing 110°F, prompting accelerated grape development and early veraison. The saving grace occurred in August and late September when cooler conditions slowed sugar and flavor maturation. Our harvest ended on Halloween with wines showing great clarity on the nose and palate, and true varietal character.