The Santa Lucia Highlands is one of the crown jewels of California viticulture, producing some of the state’s best cool climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Over 200 years ago Spanish missionaries first recognized the favorable soil and climate of the area and planted grapevines there. Today, the appellation encompasses more than 6,000 acres of prime vineyards, planted on the elevated terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range in close proximity to nearby Monterey Bay.
Gary Pisoni planted his eponymous vineyard here in 1982. It is one of the highest in the region, with well-drained alluvial soils. The vineyards start at just above the valley floor and rise to elevations of up to 1300 feet. The hillside, with its southeast-facing orientation grabs the morning sun and afternoon breezes cool the vineyards so that the grapes don’t ripen too quickly and there’s ample time for flavors to develop.
Produced from three small blocks, Gary’s extraordinary Lucia Chardonnay is the perfect expression of the Pisoni family’s commitment to wines of both character and sustainability. With bright yellow-green hues and a slight unfiltered haze, it first tantalizes with intriguing aromas of white peach and pineapple following up on the palate with notes of ripe pear, nectarine, and honeysuckle. While oak is evident, it is used quite judiciously just to add that delicate hint of vanilla. The result is a bright yet well-textured wine with vibrant acidity that carries a complex array of expressive flavors right through to a lingering finish. Extraordinary and exemplary coastal Californian wine.