When you hear the word “estate”, what comes to mind? Perhaps a beautiful house nestled in a grove of trees on a large piece of property with fenced green pastures and lazily grazing horses. Or maybe the legal term “estate planning” comes to mind, referring to the transfer of a person’s property, money, and/or possessions to named individuals or heirs, usually upon death. Yet, if you see the word “estate grown” on a wine label, it guarantees that 100% of the grapes in that bottle were grown in a vineyard that is owned or controlled by the producing winery. It also means that the wine stayed on the premises during the entire production process, including fermentation, bottling, and aging.
Sauv Blanc is grown in several regions worldwide, including France, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and domestically in the states of Oregon, Washington, and California. One of the things we love about Sauv Blanc is that it truly expresses the aroma and flavor profiles of where and how it is grown, from grassy and slightly green to pear blossom, melon, citrus zest, and tropical notes. And always, refreshing and bright, with driving acidity, fruit, and minerality.
While Carhartt has been making our beloved Sauvignon Blanc wine for over 12 years, having 100% control over the farming and growing of this white grape has been a goal for many years.
Over the last decade, Chase and I have been working hard to produce what we think is the best version of Sauv Blanc in relation to the unique and particular terroir of Santa Ynez Valley, the AVA in which our vineyard is located. In 2020, Carhartt Family Wines had the opportunity to refine that mission even further by making a 100% Rancho Santa Ynez™ estate Sauvignon Blanc, and we plan to do so into the future (Mother Nature willing!).
With that in mind, we have conducted many trials, utilizing different “treatments” of the wine during its production. For example, we might use native yeast for wood and stainless barrel fermentations with no temperature control, or fermentation and aging in our newest concrete tanks, as well as a more traditional temperature-controlled and inoculated ferment in a stainless tank. In addition to other small lot trials, our aim is to taste the resulting wines, take copious notes on them, and then blend all of them into one “master” lot version of Carhartt Estate Sauvignon Blanc.
We hope and believe that our version is a beautiful compilation of creative winemaking techniques, as well as capturing the uniqueness of Rancho Santa Ynez™. With our commitment to sustainable and regenerative farming practices, we remain dedicated to producing an inherently natural wine that captures the deliciousness of time and place. Cheers!