Challen Winery is a small Santa Barbara County producer
of premium single vineyard designated Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
Our grapes are sourced from vineyards of distinction,
whose owners share our passion for Pinot Noir,
our commitment to quality and our respect for the land.
With Burgundy as our benchmark, we strive to produce
world class wines, with every bottle expressing a sense of place,
a reflection of the "terroir" unique to each vineyard from which it was born.
In this pursuit, we take a minimalist approach to the production of our wines.
Our fruit is from well established vineyard sites, such as, Zotovich, Lindsay’s, Bentrock, and La Encantada Vineyards in Santa Rita Hills AVA, Talley Rincon is Arroyo Grande AVA, Tondre Grapefield Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, and Dierberg Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, as well as, up and coming stars on the Santa Barbara County horizon, Bentrock Vineyard, and Peake Ranch, both in Santa Rita Hills. Our clonal selection includes "Heritage" clones 2A Pommard 4, Mt. Eden, and Calera; and "Dijon" clones, 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777.
Starting with uniformly ripe, hand picked and hand sorted grapes, we utilize both destemmed and whole cluster fruit in separate open top fermenting vats. Using indigenous and cultured yeasts, primary fermentation usually takes seven to ten days. Afterwards, the "free run juice" is gently pumped into French Oak barrels with the remaining "must" being put into a bladder press and, under low pressure, "pressed juice" is extracted and put into separate barrels. We use only French Oak barrels, predominately Tronçais Forest and Châtillon Forest by Tonnellerie Rousseau, medium toast, 20% of which are new. Racking occurs after completion of malolactic fermentation and then the barrels are constantly "topped" until assembled in blending tanks for bottling. The total time in barrel is sixteen months. Bottling is done without fining or filtering.
Kevin Law, winemaker
Bill Cates, Consulting Winemaker (from the other side)
Full bodied yet structured. ripe pineapple, vanilla bean and orange blossom on the nose, silky texture with cooked lemon, apricot and star fruit on the palate. The wet rock minerality and acidity allude to the marine sediment of this vineyard.
Cola, forest floor, earth and violet on the nose. This is a medium bodied Pinot with stone fruit, rosemary and a hint of caramel on the palate. Revel in a lingering finish that reveals nuances with every taste.
Santa Maria Valley AVA. Honey toast, pear and white flower on the nose. honeydew melon, lemon balm and peaches round out the taste. light minerality and lively acidity provide beautiful backbone and structure.
Tobacco, cooked blackberries and leather embrace the nose, luscious plum, cocoa and black cherry round out the palate on this bold and voluptuous wine.
This plush wine delivers layers of wet earth, tobacco and freshly cleaned leather. Swirl and discover bing cherries, cooked peaches, violet and orange peel. This bio-dynamic wine melts across the palate with a luscious, long-lasting finish.
An elegant wine that demonstrates how fruit marries with spices and damp earth. Bright, clean fruit provide beautiful aromatics of raspberry and current. Hidden spices evolve with damp earth after a light rain on a forest path. This is a mouth filling wine that lingers on the palate with a lovely finish.
Perfect pale peachy pink color, flint, strawberry and pineapple on the nose, palate rich in pineapple and orange, chalk and lively acidity.
Our 2014 Jasper had the luxury of being held back a vintage. A brilliant garnet red wine with aromas of dense forest, creme brûlée and bing cherries with subtle notes of white pepper and sun dried tomatoes. This is a round, lush wine with beautiful oak treatment and a lengthy finish. Jasper is the life of the party.
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