Sanford Winery's estate vineyards lie within the Santa Rita Hills American Viticultural Area or AVA in Santa Barbara County. At the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills region was certified as an AVA in 2001. Its maritime winds create a cool growing climate where the classic Burgundian varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, thrive.
SANFORD & BENEDICT VINEYARD
(Talinda Oaks Ranch, 9 miles west of Highway 101.Lompoc, California)
This vineyard, now fully owned by the Terlato family, is considered one of the five most important vineyards for Pinot Noir in the United States as reported by Steve Heimoff in Wine Enthusiast magazine in June 2005. This is, literally, where it all started for Sanford Winery and for the Santa Rita Hills. The traditions of both the winery and the region were born when Sanford planted Santa Barbara County's first Pinot Noir in the Sanford & Benedict vineyard in 1971. With a mantle of hard, siliceous chert-gravel covering deep, well-drained soils, it is a perfect medium for Pinot.
Under the Terlato family's leadership this iconic vineyard is now in the midst of a replanting and revitalization. Because of its historic status, the Sanford winemaking team has left no stone unturned in this project to ensure it is producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The process began with a full assessment of the original plantings from the 1970s, retaining the strong vines, eliminating the weak and adding better clones and rootstocks developed over the last 30 years. In all, 135 acres of the 500-acre ranch are under vine. Sanford & Benedict is primarily planted with Pinot Noir (68 acres) and Chardonnay (52 acres), with 15 acres of other grape varieties. The Pinot Noir is from the Mt. Eden clone.
RANCHO LA RINCONADA VINEYARD
(10 miles west of Highway 101, Lompoc, California)
Recognizing the same ideal soil conditions found in the Sanford & Benedict vineyards, Sanford first planted at the La Rinconada in 1997.
The 438-acre ranch has 130 acres under vine, primarily Pinot Noir (60 acres) and Chardonnay (70 acres. The Pinot Noir comprises three Pinot Noir clones: 115, 667, 777, and Mt Eden.