Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Vogelzang Vineyard
The Vogelzang Vineyard, in the Happy Canyon region of Santa Barbara County, has proven itself to be an ideal sight for growing Sauvignon Blanc. A slight morning time marine influence and magnesium inflected soils produce wines marked by deep honeydew melon flavors and scintillating acidity.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originated in the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French word sauvage (“wild”), in reference to its sometimes pungent and grassy aromas. Sauvignon blanc is planted in many of the world’s wine producing areas, most notably the Bordeaux and Loire regions in France and the Marlborough region of New Zealand. In California, Sauvignon Blanc has been a bit of a chameleon, at times producing wines similar to the gooseberry and fresh mowed hay character of New Zealand, at others yielding wines of depth and breeding that lean more towards the melon end of the flavor spectrum. It is to this latter iteration of Sauvignon Blanc that we aspire, a style more characteristic of white Bordeaux than of New Zealand or the Loire Valley.
Made from one row of grapevines at the Vogelzang Vineyard in the Happy Canyon region of Santa Barbara County, our Sauvignon Blanc benefits from custom farming and a close collaboration between vineyard manager and winemaker. Known for its warm to hot daytime temperatures and only slight maritime influence, the Vogelzang Vineyard tends to produce wines that reflect this warmth and typically feature creamy citrus and melon notes. Grapes harvested in the cold hours before dawn are destemmed, lightly crushed, and allowed to macerate on skins for four hours before being gently pressed. Fermentation commences in a small stainless tank, the temperature is allowed to rise to an ideal 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and the juice is transferred to neutral French oak barrels after two thirds of the fermentation has completed. Aging for 6 months in oak with occasional lees stirring is followed by a light fining with skim milk and a gentle bottling.
Classic aromas of honeydew melon are accented by just enough grassiness to let you know you are drinking Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, spicy flavors of white pepper, melon, and grapefruit are balanced by scintillating acidity and a deep, lush mouthfeel—the result of extended aging on lees. Sauvignon Blancs made in this style are delicious upon release with all sorts of richer summer fare and can often develop nuance in bottle with a year or two of aging.
Nick de Luca, Winemaker