Vineyard Spotlight: Dierberg Drum Canyon
The cool climate of the Santa Rita Hills brings our newest single-vineyard Pinot Noir, the 2016 Dierberg Pinot Noir. Our desire to capture and express the unique character of the most highly sought-after appellations in California starts with sourcing from only the best vineyards. It also requires a working partnership with the best winegrowers in California. And luckily for us, the Dierberg Drum Canyon Vineyard, located along Highway 246 in Santa Barbara County’s Sta. Rita Hills AVA, provides us with both.
Ideally situated in the heart of the region between Buellton and Lompoc, the east-west orientation of the appellation allows for a steady maritime cooling influence from the Pacific Ocean’s relentless winds. Developed between 2003 and 2005, the vines have now reached maturity and consistently produce fruit with great structure and complexity. The vineyard is planted in lowfertility sandy soils on a hillside, and we selected three clones for this particular Pinot Noir. But these grapes don’t come easily. The challenges of the climate-influenced growing season require diligent canopy management to allow the fruit to reach true physical maturity.
We’re all proud of this Dierberg Vineyard offering. Artfully crafting and blending clone 115 with the Swan and Calera selections, with their small berry and cluster size, results in a wine of unique character that expresses the exceptional sense of place. You can almost taste those chilly, relentless winds.
The 2016 Dierberg Pinot Noir is a mix of bold red fruits, sustained spice and a hint of caramelized oaky balsamic reduction, finishing with silky tannins. This addition to the Landmark portfolio makes for a beautiful comparison to our leaner and softer La Encantada Pinot Noir from the same AVA. The Dierberg showcases darker berries with smaller clusters, due to their struggle to dig deep for nutrients. For chefs, this is a food-pairing dream, enhancing dishes from wood-fired grilled meats like balsamic chicken and pork loin, or caramelized eggplant. This wine is an exciting addition to the Sta. Rita Hills lineup for Landmark, displaying just how unique each vineyard’s terroir can be. Although the region gained AVA status fairly recently in 2001, Pinot Noirs from these superb vineyards are already showcasing depth and complexity worthy of aging up to 15 years.