The Santa Maria Valley of the Central Coast is a natural funnel-shaped valley opening west to the Pacific Ocean. The elevation of the area ranges from approximately 200 feet at the intersection of Highway 101 and Santa Maria River to approximately 3,200 feet at Tepusquet Peak. The grapes that are grown within the area are on the valley floor at an approximate elevation of 300 feet on the slopes and rolling hillsides up to an elevation of 800 feet. The soils within the area range in texture from sandy loam to clay loam and are free from adverse salts.
Since the valley opens to the ocean, there is no opposition to the sea fog that moves in overnight, engulfing lower-lying vineyards, and often lingering into mid-day. This creates a cool growing environment that features a long growing season and very little rainfall, meaning grapes have extensive time to build flavor on the vine. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc make up the majority of the Santa Maria Valley crops.
2012 Coruce Viognier: This Central Coast wine is 100% Viognier from a world famous vineyard near Santa Maria California. This wine was destemmed and cold soaked for 24 hours then pressed off the skins and settled for 3 days and racked off its solids. It was then cold fermented for 21 days in stainless steel and aged for 10 months in neutral French Oak barrels.
This wine has aromas and flavors of Honeysuckle, citrus blossoms, white melon, apricot, peach and banana. Lush and viscous with a vibrant finish. Serve chilled.
Solomon Hills Vineyard is located about seven miles from the ocean just outside the city of Orcutt in Santa Barbara County. The maritime influence combined with ocean floor sandy loam soil results in wines with bright fruit, good balance, crisp acidity and what is known as "Santa Maria spice". The lively nose jumps out of the glass, revealing a tightly-knit profile of fresh cherries, strawberries, hazelnuts, spice cake, violet and rose petal. The smooth, silky, light-bodied mouthfeel delivers notes of firm red strawberry, raspberry and cherry mixed with dashes of currant, caramelized orange peel, saddle leather, vanilla and gingerbread cookies. Delicate tannins transition to a sparkle of acidity on the finish. Beware...this wine goes down a little too easy.
This is my very first Chardonnay and I made it about as simply as you can. That said, there’s nothing simple about this wine! Pressed directly into barrels, it went through both primary and secondary fermentation on its own. All in all, this was fermenting for 8-9 months non-stop. I just stirred the lees every two weeks and that was about it! It’s a total olfactory wine. The powerful nose contains hints of crisp pineapple, melty banana, green apple, vanilla bean, creme brulee and that classic marine-influenced Santa Maria je ne sais qois that is synonymous with the region. On the palette, the wine pays off the nose perfectly with an added twist of Meyer lemon and peach juice to boot. Full malolactic fermentation added a plushness up front, but there’s great acid on this wine that carries it through and builds to a nice crisp snap on the finish, which just goes on and on and on. Thine lips shalt smack!
I have really fallen in love with this vineyard. There’s this unmistakeable characteristic about wines made from this site that is uniquely Solomon Hills. In 2013, I added an extra clone to the mix which really gave this wine an extra level of complexity and balance. And it also made it a little addictive too. As always, the nose explodes right out of the glass, unleashing aromas of rich red berries, black licorice, sandalwood, fresh flowers, black tea with lemon and mushroomy earth. On the palette, I’m getting garden strawberries, bing cherries, spice cake, orange marmalade, tea and underlying wet forest floor. The wine has a beautiful light garnet color, which alludes to its medium-light bodied character and perfect balance. The wine starts off with a bright and showy mouthfeel, but morphs into something much more complex as an effervescent acidity takes over with a nice snap at the end. This wine lingers on the tongue 4 evah!