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
When the 2015 Lindsay’s Vineyard fruit arrived at the winery, it was so perfect we decided to keep 50% of the fruit intact. Our Lindsay’s is a glorious ruby red wine with wet earth, violets, rhubarb and dark chocolate s’mores on the nose. The addition of whole cluster lends healthy tannins and beautiful structure to this sophisticated Pinot. This Burgundian wine is dressed to impress your French friends.
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.
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.