(2011 Vintage) Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery is the fruition of financier Bill Foley's dream to produce world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir near his Santa Barbara home. In 1998, Bill set out to find the proper location for his vineyard and winery. Using topographical maps, soil research and climatic data, he scoured the region to find the appropriate site for the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. After much research, Bill discovered the perfect property - Rancho Santa Rosa. A historic parcel located in the Sta. Rita Hills region of the Santa Ynez Valley, Rancho Santa Rosa had formerly been a thoroughbred horse ranch. The property had the steep, south facing hillsides and the limestone soils that are the “holy grail” to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vintners. Bill quickly set to establishing 230 acres of vineyard on the 460-acre property. The vineyard was subdivided into 59 micro-blocks to be farmed, harvested and vinified separately. Pinot Noir was situated in the highest reaches of the ranch, with elevations to one thousand feet. The Chardonnay was established on the rolling hills surrounding the winery. There were also eight acres of Syrah planted on the western corridor. A variety of soil types matched to appropriate rootstocks, and a broad array of clonal selections gave the winemaking team the opportunity to make wines of great diversity and character.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesA mix of ripe cherries and creamy oak backed up by suggestions of caramel lead this wine into aromatic richness that takes over center stage from the underlying fruit. Yet, despite all that rich, lush character, the wine keeps fruit in focus across the palate and, if a bit slender as the end, it is braced by brightening acidity that makes it a good bet with grilled steaks .