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2020 Etude Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Pinot Noir

2020 Etude Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Pinot Noir

2020 Etude Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Pinot Noir



Sta. Rita Hills is home to some of Santa Barbara’s best-known Pinot Noirs and occupies the western portion of Santa Ynez Valley between Buellton and Lompoc. The region’s east-to-west orientation, extreme proximity to the Pacific Ocean and ancient marine bed soils are perfect for world class Pinot Noir.

Awards & Accolades

  • 95

    “ Extremely floral with lemon blossom, sliced orange and slightly under-ripe strawberry. Cranberry. Medium to full body. Linear and energetic with a fine and long tannin structure. .” - James Suckling, August 2021

Wine & Vintage Details

Tasting Notes

This Pinot Noir is bright and cheery with aromas and flavors of lifted red berry fruits, red plums and Bing cherry, alongside notes of ripe nectarine and golden peach. Layers of sweet baking spice notes come through from the well-integrated oak, with nuances of cinnamon and clove, all framed by a lithe texture with vibrant acidity, great balance and a lengthy mouthwatering finish. This Pinot has substance and complexity, making it very appealing to drink now, and also promises much more to come.

Despite some memorably atypical factors, 2020 is considered one of the best vintages in Santa Barbara County yet. It was a warm, dry winter, with rain and cooler weather arriving at the end of March. While the mild spring provided a great early start, the winery followed extensive safety protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days with strong bud break and flowering. Optimal temperatures and a lack of spring rain and wind produced full fruit clusters with a high juice-to-skin ratio. Four unusual heatwaves encouraged robust flavor development and a lush, ripe palate. Harvest was interrupted by wildfires across California, but our vineyards were not in active fire areas and did not sustain damage. Yields were slightly lower than average, but grape quality was very good, with optimal flavor development and little to no impact from the heat spikes.

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Santa Rita Hills AVA

Fiddlestix, Santa Rita Hills


The grapes for this wine were harvested at night to preserve freshness and integrity. They were placed in open-top fermenters for 3-5 days of cold maceration followed by fermentation. A small percentage of the grapes were left as whole cluster to preserve the buoyancy of aromatics of the fruit and to add structure and refinement to the wine. Punch downs were performed during the early stages of fermentation with the extraction becoming gentler as the wine became dry, and followed with a quiet extended maceration to help modify the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. The wine was lightly pressed into small French oak barrels where it rested for 12 months.

Jon Priest - Winemaker

For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.

Winemaker Jon Priest

Alcohol % 14.1%