2015 Aether Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir
Sanford & Benedict
Sta. Rita Hills AVA
Sanford and Benedict Vineyard is the primary reason for the growth of viticulture in the Western Santa Ynez Valley now known as the Santa Rita Hills. In the late 1960’s, two visionaries – Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict searched California for vineyard sites they deemed appropriate and capable of producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to equal any in the world. They selected a site on Santa Rosa Road and fortunately, they were right. The vineyard was first planted in 1971, and early vintages achieved formidable results producing wines of depth, complexity and aging potential. Sound bottles of 1976 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir can still deliver beauty and pleasure after 40 years – a testament to the power of place. The vineyard sits in a large protected bowl and is mostly north facing. The slopes are gentle trending from the uplands on the south perimeter down towards the Santa Ynez River, the predominate topographic element of this corridor of the Santa Rita Hills. The soils at S&B are some of the more complex of any vineyard we have ever worked with. Mostly clay and clay loam, this hillside vineyard is also strewn with pockets of limestone and other sedimentary deposits. This mixture gives the soil great water holding capacity from the clay but breaks up the matrix by aeration and drainage from the stony components.