Sanford Winery is located within the Santa Rita Hills American Viticultural Area [AVA] in Santa Barbara County California. Santa Rita Hills AVA is an ideal location for the classic Burgundian varietals; Pinot Noir and Chardonnay flourish here due to its combination of climate and soil conditions much like those in Burgundy France.
Sanford Winery is the pioneering California producer that helped establish the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County. In 1971 Sanford planted the area’s first Pinot Noir in its Sanford & Benedict vineyard. The Sanford & Benedict parcel is the area’s oldest Pinot Noir vineyard.
Since 2006 Steve Fennell, Winemaker has brought his combined approach of vineyard and winemaking expertise to Sanford Winery. “For me, it’s about treating the soil with respect, achieving consistent and high-quality grapes and crafting elegant, fruit-forward wines that are the finest expression of the Santa Rita Hills.”
In the past month I have been introduced some pretty memorable California wines made in Burgundian and Bordeaux style. I’m seeing a trend with wines priced from $25-$40 that are truly quality and not typical of any one style but the winemakers own expression and interpretation; and Sanford wines are no exception to my findings.
Winemaker Steve Fennell has taken his global winemaking experience, knowledge and a hint of his own personality and has crafted some fine wines inspired by his Burgundian muse.
Sanford Winery Pinot Noir 2010 - Not too California and not too Burgundy; just right with a balance of bright red fruits, cherry, orange rind, white pepper and sage on the nose. And to taste, silky berries are balanced with bright acidity and ripe tannins for a very poised wine. $40 (srp)
Sanford Winery Chardonnay 2010 – The Santa Rita qualities of minerality and crisp acid make this California Chardonnay one of proportion and symmetry as it is scaled with the traditional Burgundian technique of lees stirring and barrel aging, which gives this wine its richness and elegance. $40 (srp)