May 27, 2022


Santa Maria History

Bien Nacido Vineyard In California’s Santa Maria Valley AVA

There is just one winery that stands out—way out—when it comes to single winery specified wines: Bien Nacido.

A Solitary Vineyard Superstar

This location is the source for 15,000 one winery designated wine releases about the system of its 43 year historical past. This consists of estate wines manufactured the proprietor, the Miller family members, as properly as people created by partners who have acquired fruit for their have bottlings. This listing consists of names such as Au Bon Climat, Qupé, MacRostie, Sanguis, Bedrock Wine Co. and so many more. In point, Bien Nacido has the most single winery designations in the globe.

“The great, coastal vineyard has been really sought after by winemakers given that the early times mainly because of its exceptional neat weather, rocky soil and mysterious wine attributes,” states Theresa Heredia, main winemaker at Gary Farrell Winery. Heredia would make a Pinot Noir with the coveted block Q, planted in 1973 to Pommard. “The soil is extremely assorted, made up of sandy loam, chalk, gravelly loam and marine loam, creating intense, very terroir-pushed wines that are concurrently strong, polished, exotic and captivating.”

Positioned in Santa Maria AVA, in California’s central coast, Bien Nacido is viewed as a cool climate location. To set this into point of view, this place has a similar heat summation as Central Otago in New Zealand, Champagne in France and the Rheingau in Germany.

Bien Nacido is in a exclusive position, positioned in a scarce coastal transverse mountain assortment on a chilly overall body of water—16 miles thanks west from the Pacific Ocean. “The mountains have turned sideways,” suggests Will Costello MS, the ambassador for Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estates. “They enable for all of the cold air to flush by means of on the way to the desert.”

This cold air can push the vines into winter season dormancy—frost is frequent this time of year—which is not always feasible in the new globe, notes Costello. An short article published by the The Arnold Arboretum clarifies that these “chilling hours” put in at great temperatures aid the vine regulate bud split, a significantly significant stage in the vine’s lifecycle. This a thing to consider for winegrowers, as parts of the globe working experience climate adjust and enhanced temperatures.

There are a few key environments within just the winery: a entrance bench, steep hillsides and flatland. “We can match spot to type,” claims Nicholas Miller, 2nd-era proprietor of the vineyard and estate. “Its not just one ticket to participate in.”

California Winegrowing Pioneers

Planted by Stephen Miller and his late brother Robert in the late 1960s, Bien Nacido floor has an agricultural heritage dating again to 1837 when Tomas Olivera obtained the plot by way of a land grant. The ranch supported livestock and grain crops, as perfectly as wine grapes. The Ontiveros Adobe from this time, nonetheless standing nowadays, retains indicating for the wine local community of Santa Maria.

The Millers, a farming spouse and children since 1871, experienced a eyesight for what this plot of land could be. As pioneers in post-prohibition planting in Santa Maria, they resolved to “plant their flag on good quality to start with, at Bien Nacido,” according to Miller. They originated the title Bien Nacido, which usually means “well born.”

These were ungrafted vines from UC Davis, planted on their very own rootstock. In truth, the winery operated as nursery for budwood. Costello notes that there are few ungrafted vineyards in the entire world, isolating these unique plantings at Bien Nacido as “pure expression” of what the versions can be. Rootstock, even though at quite a few instances important to secure a vineyard towards soil borne pests, is like a “mask” in accordance to Costello, perhaps lessening that expression.

The vineyard had early results with Chardonnay, with numerous sparkling wine producers keen to get this fruit. The Millers commenced to leverage some of these paying for offers to provide Pinot Noir, which sooner or later grew to become the selection of alternative for many of the best winemaking names related with Bien Nacido Vineyards. That and the amazing-climate Syrah which Miller suggests can “play at the globe course amount in both equally neat and heat climates.”

By the 2000s, the Millers commenced producing their possess wines from this vineyard beneath the Bien Nacido Estate label. “We also required to notify our possess tale as a window into our vineyard,” states Miller. Winemaker Anthony Avilla—who begun as a harvest intern—is now a component of this story, as is winery manager Chris Hammell. “Chris grew up in the spot really shut to the vineyard and life on the assets, constantly preserving a shut eye on every little thing,” claims Heredia. “He functions with every single winemaker, guaranteeing that farming tactics are to their specifications.”

With excellent wines coming from the estate and scores of other wineries, Bien Nacido Winery stands to be one of the most influential of our time, with bottles to fit quite a few customer tastes and budgets. Each individual block is grown to the regular of the buyer, with pristine, sustainable farming methods. “This is a distinctive design,” says Miller. “A time and location not replicated wherever else in the planet.”