A New Owner for a Venerable Vineyard

    The first time I really noticed and appreciated Chardonnay, it involved a bottle of wine made from grapes grown in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard.

     The vineyard, planted in 1971, is located in the western sector of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley – an area now known as Santa Rita Hills.

     This is a relatively cool growing region, and it’s that environmental factor that made the wine stand out, I believe. I had been drinking a lot of Chardonnay that tasted like buttered toast, and this particular bottling tasted like pears and spiced apples. It was delicious, and it spiked my enthusiasm for well-made Chardonnay.

     Now that I’ve taken you along on a trip down Memory Lane, let me explain why: The Sanford & Benedict Vineyard recently was sold to the Terlato Wine Group, a company based in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Don’t let the Midwest address concern you, though; TWG is a farming company, and it has no plans to uproot the vines and put up condos.

     Anthony Terlato has said that the vineyard will continue to supply grapes to such renowned estates as Bonaccorsi, Au Bon Climat, Longoria, Foxen, Lane Tanner, Babock and… yes… Sanford. That’s great news, because those wineries produce some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California from Sanford & Benedict grapes.

     More good news: Dates for the 2008 Sonoma Jazz + Festival have been announced. The event will be held over the Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll have more information for you later this week here on VinesseTODAY.com.

     Can’t wait ’til next May for a fix of vinous festiveness? Then head to Southern California for the first Temeculights Holiday Festival, on now through January 6. The festival is based at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, and features more than 12 miles of LED light strings. It’s really quite a sight – one of the finest holiday light displays in the country.

     For further information, call 951-587-9463.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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