Terroir - Sandhi Wines

Sandhi Chardonnay Rocks.jpg

Billowy soft outcroppings of diatomaceous earth lie hidden beneath the picturesque hillsides of the Santa Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara county. In certain areas - where erosion has weathered away topsoil - entire cliff faces of this stark white earth peak through. During a time when this area was under the Pacific Ocean these outcroppings were formed as the result of ancient diatoms (algae/plankton) dying, settling to the bottom, and eventually fosilizing. Now these chalky, salty, porous, mineral rich soils help to create some of the best terroir for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay anywhere in the world!

"Terroir" is defined as the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced - including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. While topography and climate are relatively straightforward to understand, the impact of soil types on wine has mystified and intrigued humanity for thousands of years. By investigating unique soils (like this diatomaceous earth) and tasting the finished wines produced from them, it becomes possible to grasp how unique flavor characteristics are pulled from each unique locale. When tasting Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir and Chardonnay it is hard not to experience what can only be described as a little taste of the ocean!