Vineyard Debut – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Located in the Sta. Rita Hills, Our Lady of Guadalupe represents a recent addition to the winemaking landscape. Beginning in 2018, Dave Phinney (of Prisoner fame) and his team undertook the extensive planting of this sprawling property. While the majority of the vineyard falls within the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, a few blocks extend just beyond the western border, an area that initially went unnoticed when the AVA was established in the late 1990s. Presently, the ranch covers 127 acres dedicated to Pinot Noir and 6 acres to Chardonnay. Approximately half of the harvest contributes to the OLG estate label, while the remaining portion is sold to external wineries.

The soil composition varies, predominantly featuring sandy loams at lower elevations, transitioning to more rugged soils at higher altitudes. Notably, certain blocks showcase a significant presence of diatomaceous earth. However, understanding the vineyard’s intricacies involves considering factors beyond just the soil. Elevation, wind patterns, exposure to sunlight, clonal mix, and diverse pruning techniques collectively contribute to a multifaceted tapestry of vineyard blocks.

OLG is one of those breathtaking sites where you instantly feel the potential for greatness. The furthest west vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and the only SRH vineyard with a direct line of sight to the ocean. SAMsARA’s steep hillside blocks are super exposed to high winds and the force of the Pacific. This is a tough place to grow grapes. Yields are low, and picks are late. The long hangtime gives us some magic, but also pushes the limits of cool climate viticulture. Often the more difficult the site is to farm, the higher the potential for exceptional wines.  Fruit grown here is bright and lively with high acidity and focused flavors, making complex wines with distinctive character.

2021 was our first vintage working with this extremely cool site and we are thrilled with the resulting 2021 Pinot Noir from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sta. Rita Hills.