Grown the fossil rich soils and Pacific breezes of the Sta Rita Hills, the fruit from Pence Ranch is renowned for seriously elegant Pinot Noir. This single-vineyard wine comes from a small block in a sheltered area of the vineyard planted to the rare Dijon clone 459, said to be from the famed Romanée St. Vivant vineyard of Romanée-Conti. With all the hallmarks of a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, the concentration, complexity and depth of the fruit is undeniably Californian.
Drake Whitcraft makes beautifully balanced, site-specific wines in his low-fi Santa Barbara winery. Growing up in Santa Barbara under the tutelage of his father, who started Whitcraft Winery in 1985, and his friend Burt Williams, founder of Williams-Selyem in Sonoma, Drake has formed good relationships with some of the best vineyards in the Central Coast with a focus on the cool climate and diverse terroir of Sta. Rita Hills.
He gets his grapes from sought after sites like Pence, La Rinconada and Stolpman. He makes all his wines in the same hands-on, low-intervention way - describing himself as a wine shepherd more than a winemaker - above everything else Drake wants to make a naked representation of these exceptional vineyards year after year. They represent a cross-section of the emerging class of site-specific wines coming out of Central Coast California today.
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