Challen Winery is a small Santa Barbara County producer
of premium single vineyard designated Pinot Noirs.
Our grapes are sourced from vineyards of distinction,
whose owners share our passion of 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 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 all of Santa Rita Hills. Our clonal selection includes "Heritage" clones 2A and Pommard 4 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
Rich with a hint of spice. This wine shows dark cherry, blackberry and plum on the nose. Dark chocolate nibs with notes of lavender, black tea and a dash of cloves.
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.
Deep aromas of plum, muddled raspberries and dark cherry. Steeped in rose water with hints of herb and rocky earth. A long finish with healthy tannins and backbone.
The first sniff of this delicate wine presents a melange of raspberries and bright red cherries. Nuanced with minerality, earth and sweet spice.
You can feel the life force in this lively and bright wine. Brimming with bright red cherry and raspberry with a sweep of roses and sweet cream. Spice, flint and forest floor linger on the palate.
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.
“Redolent with sarsaparilla, red plum, mulberry and cola, and shows deft balance on the palate, combining plum, cherry , licorice and ginger flavors.”
The cool, rocky Bentrock vineyard that we love is in evidence here. Our Bentrock Pinot Noir is a mélange of flavors of chocolate, english garden rose petals, truffles and sandalwood. The soft silkiness of this wine tells me it needs no food pairing to tame the tannins although I found enough subtle tannins to make for a mouth filling wine.
Check back here for future tastings & events.
The past, present and future converge with a homecoming of The Strand House’s opening Consulting Chef Neal Fraser, our Chef Partner, Greg Hozinsky and the welcome return of our newly appointed Executive Chef, Austin Cobb. Proprietor and actress Challen Cates will be in attendance to discuss the pairings of her fine wines.
MONDAY, APRIL 3, 2017 | One Night Only
Cocktail reception 6:30pm | Dinner 7:00pm
The Strand House
An evening of spectacular wines paired with a menu by Chef Neal Fraser.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20
The Nest at Redbird, L.A.