La Rinconada Vineyard

Tonight we’re enjoying a beautiful wine from Lutum: a balanced pinot noir that Gavin Chanin sourced from La Rinconada vineyard on the southern corridor of Sta. Rita Hills. Rinc5┬áThe vineyard sits between Sanford & Benedict and La Encantada vineyards on the south side of Santa Rosa Road, eight miles east of Lompoc.

This stunning vineyard, planted in 1995 by Richard Sanford, is on a 436-acre ranch with 130 acres under vine, including 60 acres of pinot noir and 70 acres of chardonnay. The thick Pacific fog that rolls through between the Santa Rita Hills and the Santa Rosa Hills makes for ideal conditions for these two varietals.Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.09.47 AM

We asked Richard Sanford a couple questions about La Rinconada (meaning “the corner” in Spanish).

Can you tell us about how you obtained the land?

“The vineyard was planted in 1995. I negotiated a lease/option on the ranch from the elderly sisters of the original owner. The 436 acre Rancho Rinconada was a 1913 subdivision of the original 1839 Rancho Santa Rosa Land Grant.”

How would you describe the soil?

“Approximately 40 acres of vineyard are on the same soils as the adjoining Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. The deep soils are a clay loam well intermixed with shards of Chert, a hard angular stone which promotes good drainage. These soils are from a decomposition of the Monterey Shale, a Miocene seabed deposit. 60 acres of vineyard are on a Pleistocene riverbed deposit from the Santa Ynez River. This sandy, gravelly, silty loam is excellent for Chardonnay and is limited by a shallow water table of an ancient lake bottom.”

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From La Rinconada, the views to the north are stunning hills and beautiful vineyards like Fiddlestix, Sea Smoke, Wenzlau, Mt. Carmel, and Rita’s Crown.

Among the fine wines sourced from the vineyard are Lutum, Chanin, Tyler, Sanford, Ken Brown, and Testarossa.

(For a photo tour of Santa Rosa road, check the three installments on this blog, beginning here.)

A view of La Rinconada from the southern slope of the Sta. Rita Hills
A view of La Rinconada from the southern slope of the Sta. Rita Hills
Another shot from Rita's Crown
Another shot from Rita’s Crown

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A toast with Richard Sanford, who planted La Rinconada in 1995
A toast with Richard Sanford, who planted La Rinconada in 1995
Chanin and Lutum wines sources from La Rinconada
Chanin and Lutum wines sources from La Rinconada

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2 thoughts on “La Rinconada Vineyard”

  1. After reading this, I googled around a bit and saw several sites that said the vineyard was planted in 1997. Do you know where the discrepancy comes from? By the way, thanks for this! We love the Testarossa chardonnay from La Rinconada.

  2. I had noticed that while I was researching, so I asked Richard Sanford that very question, assuming he’s the one person who can say for sure. And he said it was planted in 1995. Thanks!

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