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 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.


Challen Cates

The Grapes

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.

The Winemaking

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

New Harvest Wines

Tasting Notes

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.


Must be 21+ to purchase

Tasting Notes

Bright red cherries, roses, lush spices and pine needles on the nose. Deft structure and acidity with raspberries, plum, cola with a dash of cloves on the palate.


Tasting Notes

Tobacco, cooked blackberries and leather embrace the nose, luscious plum, cocoa and black cherry round out the palate on this bold and voluptuous wine.


Must be 21+ to purchase

Tasting Notes

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.


Must be 21+ to purchase

Tasting Notes

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.


Must be 21+ to purchase

Tasting Notes

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.


Must be 21+ to purchase

Perfect pale peachy pink color, flint, strawberry and pineapple on the nose, palate rich in pineapple and orange, chalk and lively acidity.


Must be 21+ to purchase

Upcoming & Past Events

Check back here for future tastings & events.

Past Events

Culinary Masters Series: Putting the Band Back Together Again

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

Enlarge Flyer

Wine Dinner at Redbird | Thursday October 20

An evening of spectacular wines paired with a menu by Chef Neal Fraser.

The Nest at Redbird, L.A.

Where to Find Our Wines

Los Angeles

  • All'Aqua
  • Almor Wine and Spirits
  • Amici Brentwood
  • Angelini Osteria
  • Arroyo Chop House
  • Augustine Wine Bar
  • Barbrix
  • The California Club
  • Cornell Winery
  • Domaine LA
  • Eat Drink Americano
  • Firefly
  • The Front Yard
  • Glendora Country Club
  • Kali
  • K&L Wine Merchants
  • Larchmont Village Wine & Spirits
  • Los Angeles Tennis Club
  • Market Provisions
  • Mastro’s Steakhouse Beverly Hills
  • Mastro’s Steakhouse Thousand Oaks
  • Mastro’s Ocean Club Malibu
  • Montage Beverly Hills
  • Musso and Frank Grill
  • Odys and Penelope
  • Ocean Prime
  • Ombra Wine Bar
    (Glendale at Americana)
  • Osteria La Buca
  • Pacé
  • Providence
  • Redbird
  • The Royce
    (at the Langham)
  • Scratch Bar & Kitchen
  • The Strand House Manhattan Beach
  • Toscana
  • Trattoria Amici
    (Glendale at Americana)
  • Vernetti

Palm Springs

  • Mastro’s Steakhouse Palm Dessert

Orange County and San Diego

  • Brick - San Clemente
  • The Bridges - Rancho Santa Fe
  • Hi-Time Wine Cellars - Costa Mesa
  • Ocean Prime Newport Beach
  • Mastro’s Steakhouse Costa Mesa
  • San Diego Wine Co

San Diego

  • San Diego Wine Co.

Central Coast

  • PICO
    at the Los Alamos General Store
  • The Redbarn
    Santa Ynez

Long Beach

  • Chichina Steakhouse
    Long Beach


  • Nocciola Ristorante

Northern California

  • K and L Wine Merchants
    Redwood City
    San Francisco
  • The Side Door at The Village Mammoth Lakes
  • Wine Spectrum
    Santa Rosa

New York

  • Dovetail
  • Gemma
  • Mastro’s Steakhouse
  • Pascalou

Las Vegas

  • Mastro’s Steakhouse


  • Mastro’s Steakhouse
  • Brasserie 19

Washington, DC

  • Mastro’s Steakhouse

Connect with Us

Contact Us

Updates from the Winery

2330 Westgate Rd. #6 Santa Maria, California 93454