Windy Oaks Santa Cruz Mountains Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Windy Oaks was founded in 1996 by Jim and Judy Schultze, when they returned to California after living overseas for 7 years in Australia and Europe. On a windy ridge in Corralitos, overlooking Monterey Bay, they planted their first three acres of Pinot Noir. With Jim as Winemaker, they produced their first vintage of Pinot Noir in 1999. The next year, they built the new winery building and continued to expand their Pinot Noir plantings, while also planting an acre of Chardonnay. Today, they farm a total of 26 acres of Pinot noir and their original acre of Chardonnay.
Early in 2011, their son Spencer joined Windy Oaks as assistant winemaker, upon completing the Winemaking Certification program at UC Davis. Prior to joining Windy Oaks, Spencer spent 6 months in Burgundy interning at Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard. In October 2011, Lucas Orme joined Windy Oaks, after also completing the Winemaking Certification program at UC Davis. Lucas assists in the winemaking and also participates in vineyard management. On Saturdays, when the tasting room is open, you will often find the Schultze’s other son James assisting Judy in the tasting room.
A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.