2015 Aether Sierra Madre Chardonnay
Santa Maria Valley AVA
Sierra Madre Vineyard is located on the southern flank of the Santa Maria Valley and is one of the heirloom vineyards in Santa Maria. It was established in 1971 and from the beginning enjoyed a reputation for producing wines of distinction and finesse. Planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the vineyard blocks are perched on generally north facing slopes. The soils are two types of well-drained sandy loam – Garey and Pleasanton Series – both with a low organic content that promotes good root structure. The site is a very cool – Region 1 classification- due its proximity to the ocean, 15 miles, and is at times extremely windy. The climate we enjoy in Santa Barbara County, the climate that is so conducive to agriculture in general, is specifically wonderful for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production. Our growing areas for cool climate grapes, the Sta. Rita Hills in the western Santa Ynez Valley and The Santa Maria Valley are both river valleys directly open to the ocean – the Santa Maria Valley being the wider, more direct and ultimately cooler AVA. Salinas Valley in Monterey County is also an example. The cool sometimes-cold summer winds result from the south flowing California current, which keeps the ocean water in the 50’s all summer. These east-west trending valleys that bring cool ocean air as far as 30 miles inland are unique in California.