Santa Barbara County

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I had never thought much about riesling until I moved to Ojai full time in 1993. The summers here are hot, and I found myself drinking more and more white wine during those hot months. I don’t care much for semisweet wines, but the dry style rieslings from Germany and Austria are quite thirst quenching-and surprisingly food friendly and versatile. That love of the classic dry rieslings led to my curiosity about a small vineyard way out west of the town of Los Alamos. By coincidence, it’s just a few miles from where I got my start in the wine business. Old-timer grape king Dale Hampton once told me that this area was particularly well suited for riesling. I had seen Kick On vineyard in the early days when it was just being planted but had forgotten it had riesling, so when I heard that some was available, I jumped at the chance. 2007 was our first offering, and it was a take-no-prisoners-styled wine that had searing acidity-and tasted terrific with goat cheese and crackers.

Picked at 21.5 brix with a pH of 3.2. After an early morning harvest, the grapes were transported to the winery and whole cluster pressed to a stainless steel tank. The juice settled for 12 hours and then put into older French oak barrels for fermentation in a cellar with an ambient temperature of 55 F. When the wine finished fermenting—after about two weeks—we racked the new wine off the yeast to other barrels for further aging. This 2009 Riesling was more precocious than previous vintages, so we bottled it after six months. Now, after a year in the bottle, this cool climate Riesling displays aromas of lemon peel and exotic fruits, and possesses a juicy, refreshing, pear like flavor.

Blend: 100% Riesling | Alcohol: 13.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 6 Months | Total Production: 205 cases