Santa Barbara County
This vineyard is planted on hillsides of pure sand in Cat Canyon near Los Alamos, California. The syrah vines struggle to survive, since sand can hold neither nutrients nor water well. The production is absurdly low. In fact, these were the most expensive syrah grapes we purchased in 2001. The wine that’s made from this spot is as unique as the vineyard looks. There is an intense but lovely red berry fruit character followed by an intriguing seaweed-iodine spiciness–this aromatic association perhaps because the soil here is a known ancient seabed. In any case it’s quite unique. The tannins are copious, but super fine textured. Being one canyon closer to the ocean than Thompson Vineyard, the climate is just cool enough that we never have to worry about the acidity level of the grapes, there is always a zesty tang to this wine that keeps it lively.