Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Pinot Noir
Region Santa Maria Valley
Winemaker Jon Priest

As Santa Barbara County’s northernmost AVA, Santa Maria Valley is renowned for its unique funnel created by the only two transverse mountain ranges running east to west on the whole west coast of North America. Pinot Noir excels in this well-known transverse valley, which accentuates the cooling maritime influence that Santa Maria already enjoys due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Tasting Notes

The signature of North Canyon Pinot Noir is a noticeably darker red fruit tone, and this vintage is no exception, given its beautifully saturated ruby red color. Notes of boysenberry, young plum and black cherry intertwine, ushering in nuances of rooibos tea leaves and oak spice. Elegant tannins develop into a supple texture and bright acidity provides a rich buoyancy. This wine has balance, depth and complexity that remains on the palate long into its finish.

Vineyard Notes

Less than twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean, North Canyon Vineyard sits along the Santa Maria river bench in a secluded canyon that provides some protection from the region’s renowned maritime influences. Located a bit off the direct valley, temperatures are often a few degrees warmer and North Canyon is exposed to extended periods of sunshine that ensure Pinot Noir matures to a bright red fruit character. A variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in calcareous clay sandstone at North Canyon, which differs from the valley’s defining marine mixture of ancient sea bed, clay loam and sand. Fruit from one select block, located on a bluff in the southern, cooler end of the canyon, was chosen for this Pinot Noir. In order to achieve the same high level of quality wines, the farming of North Canyon is uniquely hands on, which ensures viticulture practices and farming measures are comparable with that of Etude’s Estate Vineyards.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off. However, a very warm spring and early summer with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace. July and August brought cool nights and gentle warmth to the Santa Maria Valley that allowed the smaller-sized crop to mature perfectly, producing small berries in pristine condition. The drier-than-normal conditions and the region’s abundant sunshine resulted in wines with excellent concentration, balance, color and intensity, resulting in Pinot Noir fruit showing exceptional depth and finesse.