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Morro Bay Split Oak Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
Morro Bay, a historic fishing village located between Santa Barbara and Monterey, is the inspiration for these finely crafted wines. Made using the classic French “Sur Lie” method, these wines are crisp, fruity, and well balanced, suited to a wide range of cuisine.
The location of the Lange Family Estate vineyard in the Delta region of Lodi provides for dramatic temperature shifts from day to night due to the influence of the delta breeze from San Francisco Bay. This allows for a slower maturation of the grapes resulting in a better balance of acidity and complexity in the taste profile. Machine harvesting at night – cooler grapes, enhanced flavor concentration. The vineyards are hand-pruned by experienced work crews adept at spur selection. In addition to green harvesting, shoot removal and leaf pulling are employed to further enhance flavor concentration. All grapes are sorted via a sorting belt prior to being pressed.
The vineyards are hand-pruned by experienced work crews adept at spur selection. In addition to green harvesting, shoot removal and leaf pulling are employed to further enhance flavor concentration. All grapes are sorted via a sorting belt prior to being pressed.
Split Oak Estates is farmed sustainably and reviewed annually to ensure adherence to “green” practices. The winery is also sustainable, 40% of all energy is produced on-site using solar panels. Generation of all ozone for sanitation purposes (instead of chlorine), recirculation of water usage. Pummace from crush is used for weed suppressor and fertilizer.
Morro Bay is proudly certified Lodi Rules. How is Morro Bay Better then Organic? The Lodi Rules program is more comprehensive. Organic practices comply with farming standards dealing with pesticide and fertilizer use as well as soil management. The Lodi Rules farming standards not only address those important issues but also encompasses the entire winemaking process including: Viticulture, Water managements, Farm ecosystem management, Pest management, and Human Resources.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.