2012 County

This was my sixth vintage from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, and the largest to date with a yielded 7.2 gracious tons. The vineyard itself sits at 3200 feet elevation, with the ‘Mesa’ a further 300 feet in elevation. The soil is a combination of sandy loam, and calcareous matter from the primordial seabed.

The elevation brings a diurnal shift of up to 50’F, which allows for a rebalancing after often- soaring daytime temperatures. Kaoilin Clay was sprayed on the Grenache clusters to minimise sun-damage (an effective natural sunscreen for grapes), whilst also aiding in slowing acid respiration.

In 2012, I divided the delightful clusters between five fermentation bins: two of them were whole- cluster, two were 50% whole-cluster and 50% de-stemmed, and the fifth was wholly de- stemmed. Fermentation was native, and began on day four of being gently foot-tread twice daily. As with years prior, the whole cluster ferments finished before the other three ~ further affirming my thoughts that the yang-balancing nature of stems aids in the fermentation process. Secondary fermentation was spontaneous, and in barrel. Grace was racked once, under the first new moon of 2014. After 18 months in a combination of mostly neutral French Oak barrels and puncheons (two new Sirugue barrels amidst 12 neutral barrique and 2 neutral 500L), she was bottled on March 3rd, 2014.

Harvest Date: October 2nd, 2012
Total Production: 397 cases
Alcohol: 14.4% abv