Challen Winery is a small Santa Barbara County producer
of premium single vineyard designated Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Syrah.
Our grapes are sourced from vineyards of distinction,
whose owners share our passion for wine,
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, Fiddlestix, 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, as well as, up and coming stars on the Santa Barbara County horizon, Drum Canyon, Bentrock Vineyard, and Peake Ranch, 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.
Mary Bradley, winemaker
Bill Cates, Consulting Winemaker (from the other side)
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