Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

Innovative Winemaking

We love the understated elegance and richness of the Chardonnay grape, especially from cool climates like Santa Maria Valley. We're not alone. The Santa Maria Valley consistently ranks as one of the top AVAs for Chardonnay in California. The combination of an extremely long growing season, a cool climate, and infertile soils produces flavorful Chardonnays with high acidity and low pHs, making them lovely food wines.

Our Chardonnay-making has very specific aim. Winegrowing and winemaking efforts are designed to create and sustain complexity, maintain freshness of fruit and impart a uniquely creamy texture to the wine.

Several key protocols are integral to these ends. We start in the vineyard with various cultural practices designed to bring in flavorful fruit. Once in the winery, we utilize a variety of cultured yeasts, each imparting subtle differences in the resulting wines' flavors and texture.

One of our favorite toys is an innovative OXO barrel racking system which allows for rolling the barrel in place to distribute the lees into suspension throughout the barrel without having to remove the bung. This lessens the oxygen pick-up in the wine, and preserves delicate aromatics while moderating the extraction of oak. Over time, this process imparts a creamy texture to the wine and a seamless integration of wine and oak.

Our Chardonnay portfolio includes vineyard designates from Sierra Madre and Bien Nacido Vineyards, and a Santa Maria Valley appellation blend. Read more about KVV and Chardonnay.