One of the smaller AVAs in California, 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 of the valley, extreme proximity to the Pacific and ancient marine bed soils combine to create an ideal cool-climate area for Pinot Noir.
In the heart of Sta. Rita Hills, Fiddlestix Vineyard was deliberately planted as a vineyard for Pinot Noir. Located a few miles inland alongside the Santa Ynez River bench at the western end of the transverse-oriented Santa Ynez Valley, Fiddlestix receives a consistent draw of Pacific currents, but sits low enough against the hills to achieve some protection from the area’s strong afternoon winds. This unique exposure to coastal breezes and fog ensures cooling influences throughout extended sunny days, which helps to add depth and vibrancy in resulting Pinot Noirs. In 35 small blocks, a variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in well-draining clay loam and calcareous marine shale to provide complexity and diversity to the vineyard. A longstanding partnership allows our involvement in the farming of this vineyard to be uniquely hands on, which ensures viticulture practices and farming measures are comparable with that of Etude’s Estate Vineyards in order to achieve the same high level of quality wines.