Santa Barbara County

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Northern Santa Barbara County, with mountain ranges that run east-west, is blessed with cooling summertime ocean breezes. We in Ojai are not, because there is a mountain blocking the way. When Ojai is hot, from July through early September, my taste in wine wanders to light, acidic red wines and particularly to crisp white wines. Zippy Chardonnays, taut Sauvignon Blancs, and dry Rieslings are what I enjoy when the thermometer goes above 90 degrees.

So when I heard about a very cool-climate vineyard west of Los Alamos that had Riesling for sale, my imagination ran wild with thoughts of producing a wine like the fascinating dry German and Austrian Rieslings that I enjoy so much. One peek at the vineyard and I was convinced it was an ideal site. Located parallel to the western edge of the Santa Rita Hills appellation, Kick On Ranch is planted in poor sandy soil, so the vines struggle to grow and produce only a small crop.

From this fruit we have been able to produce a wine of incredible distinction that tastes nothing like any California Riesling I have ever had. It expresses its varietal character with aromas of lemon peel and minerals. The wine has a mouth-coating richness, yet it is crisp, fresh and very dry. My family has a long tradition of dismissing white wines as unimportant, but when I poured this Riesling during the winter holiday, everyone took notice and enjoyed it.

Blend: 100% Riesling | Alc: 13.5% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 7 Months | Total Production: 139 cases