The winery facility is located at Rancho La Rinconada. It was completed in 2001 and is a tribute to mission architecture, green construction techniques and state of the art wine production. We believe it is the largest handmade adobe construction since the California missions were built.
The walls are constructed of adobe blocks handmade on site by Sanford employees. To date, they have built over 180,000 blocks, made two at a time. The insulating quality of this material makes it ideal for a winery. With adobe walls thirty inches thick, there is no need for either heating or air conditioning. The cellar interior is 55º - 65º year round with no energy use, a perfect environment for wine production.
The lumber needs of the winery were met with recycled timbers from a turn of the century building originally located in Washington State. Sanford purchased the old building, disassembled it and had 48 trucks move 500,000 board feet of first growth Douglas Fir timbers down to Santa Barbara County. A saw mill was assembled on site and the timbers were remilled to meet our needs. The old wood has a quality you cannot find today and we avoided cutting down countless trees.
The winery uses a unique system to move wine through the facility: a Gravity Racking System. Four 3600 gallon wine tanks are positioned on hydraulic lifts. The winery crew can move a 14 ton tank of wine below ground or 20 feet in the air. The crew then uses gravity to gently move wine from tank to barrel (or bottling) without pumping and agitation of the wine. This gentle handling is another component of Sanford's continual pursuit of improvement in winemaking.