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Located on the edge of the town of Los Alamos in an unappelated part of the County the vineyard sits west of the newly created AVA of Alisos Canyon. Protected from the influences of the sea by the coastal range it is warmer than Santa Maria to the North and Los Olivos to the South. Originally fifty acres planted in 1974, the fruit from this vineyard went into the famous bottlings by Carlo Rossi, and now only three acres remain of the original planting.
Planted and farmed by the Sinton family who have been on the land for five generations. Shell Creek has the largest acreage of Chenin out of all the sites Rococo sources from and was planted in 1972 on its own roots. Variation in the large block can change from heavy clay to sand within a single row, but limestone is scattered throughout the vineyard.
Sourced from the Pebble Ridge block at Vista Verde, this ranch was originally the Almaden Vineyard. Situated in one of the most remote growing regions of California. The Chenin block is a small, hand worked parcel. The soil is a complex combination of rolled alluvial stones and volcanic remains. Despite being one of the furthest inland sites we work with it is one of the coolest, as a result of diverse mountains that run both east-west and north-south, funneling cold Monterey Bay air inland.
When the Baileys planted their vineyard in 1969 in the high hills of Paso Robles, it was mostly to Cabernet and Zinfandel. The matriarch of the family enjoyed drinking Chenin so two acres were planted at the bottom of the ranch near a seasonal creek. According to the family, in those early years they “couldn’t give the Chenin away.” Dry farmed and on its own roots the vineyard was rediscovered recently by winemakers focused on historic sites.
Planted in 1919, the oldest Chenin Blanc in Monterey County is a single two acre parcel that is now referred to as the “Upper Vineyard” within Chalone’s holdings. These head trained vines are massive despite a lack of consistent irrigation throughout their lives and just 15” of annual rainfall. The upper vineyard sits above the fog line and so receives less cooling from the Monterey Bay. Located on the westside of the Gabilan mountain range, the sites’ parent material is granitic.
Using pressed juice from the Los Alamos Vineyard that makes our Own Rooted Chenin, we pulled off 120 gallons to ferment and age in new oak for fourteen months prior to bottling.
250 cases produced
The Delta Chenin Blanc is sourced from a single vineyard in Clarksburg and is named for the Sacramento Delta. These twenty-seven year old vines are tended by fourth generation farmers. The resulting wine is aromatically light on its feet, and smells like lemon curd with a characteristically candied ginger taste. It is aged on the lees prior to bottling and is bone dry.
200 cases produced This fruit comes from a single vineyard in Los Alamos planted in 1974. Los Alamos is an unappellated portion of Santa Barbara, but has a unique growing environment. It is warmer than both Santa Maria and Los Olivos despite being approximately the same distance from the Ocean. The vines are on their own roots, and are enormous. Year after year this wine smells like orchard blossoms and white peach, and carries a kiss of residual sugar.
60 cases produced
The Shell Creek vineyard was planted in 1972 by the Sinton family, now in their sixth generation as stewards of the land. The family has a very large ranch located in the Paso Robles Highlands. They primarily raise cattle but planted vines in certain sandy sections of their property. These vines are on their own roots. This wine is the most mineral driven aromatically but also has very ripe fruit characters such as juicy apricot and honeyed peach.
98 cases produced
Viognier is well represented in Paso Robles, where it produces full bodied wines of aromatic density. This fruit was sourced from a vineyard in the Adelaida District. After being handpicked and destemmed, the juice sat on its skins for forty-eight hours prior to pressing. It fermented in stainless steel and was bottled right before the new year with minimal cellar aging. The resulting wine has honeydew and lemon curd aromas and a velvety palate.
50 cases produced
Our first bottling of the Delta Chenin. This fruit comes from the Sacramento Delta - a breadbasket of California agriculture. Whole cluster pressed in the cellar and then aged on the lees for 5 months before a Spring bottling. No oak, no ML.
200 cases produced
Sourced from the 3 remaining acres of own-rooted vines in Los Alamos; one of the original Chenin Blanc plantings in California circa 1974.
In the cellar, whole cluster pressed for a slow, cool fermentation lasting 45 days. Stainless steel. No MLF. No oak.
210 cases produced 91 pts - Wine Enthusiast
60 cases produced 89 pts - Wine Enthusiast
155 cases produced 91 pts - Wine Enthusiast
60 cases produced . 91 pts - Wine Enthusiast