The estate-grown Chardonnay fruit was picked and hand-sorted in the vineyard before spending the night in a cold room. Chilled grapes were softly pressed and the juice was gently pumped into a stainless steel tank and cold settled. Once the heavy solids were removed, the juice was racked to both French oak barrels and a stainless steel fermentor, then inoculated for primary fermentation.
Following primary fermentation, the wine was inoculated for malolactic fermentation and barrels were periodically stirred to enhance depth and mouthfeel. The 2011 Sea Smoke Chardonnay was aged for a total of 16 months in French oak barrels (55% new) prior to bottling. Sea Smoke is the Pacific Ocean marine layer fog that covers the estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay hillside vineyards. This exceptional site features southern exposure, rich clay soils, low crop yields, and the cool microclimate of the Santa Ynez River canyon.