Windy Oaks Santa Lucia Highlands Grenache 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.