Foxen 2019 Chardonnay Block UU Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley
Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded Foxen Winery at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in northern Santa Barbara County. Their dedication has remained the same since the founding - the creation of very small-production, vineyard-designated wines using a "minimalist" approach to winemaking.
The winery is named in memory of William Benjamin Foxen, an English sea captain and Dick's great-great grandfather, who came to Santa Barbara in the early 1800s. In 1837, this Santa Barbara County pioneer purchased the Rancho Tinaquaic, a Mexican Land Grant that originally totaled nearly 9,000 acres and comprised most of what is now known as Foxen Canyon. Captain Foxen adopted the distinctive "anchor" as his ranch cattle brand, which has become a trademark of the winery. It is very fitting that Foxen Winery makes its home on the 2,000-acre Rancho Tinaquaic that remains in family hands.
These Chardonnay vines were originally planted in 1973 with Clone 4 on its own roots in Block UU at the eastern edge of the Bien Nacido Vineyard. The grapes are hand-harvested grapes are gently whole-cluster pressed and fermented 100% in barrel, after which time the wine rests on its lees for 8 months. Malolactic fermentation is discouraged to help this wine retain its natural bright acidity.