The Tinaquaic Vineyard is one of the most interesting winegrowing sites in Santa Barbara County. Located in the southernmost limits of the Santa Maria Valley appellation, this site is an estate vineyard of Foxen Winery. It was first planted in 1989 and has been completely dry farmed since 1991. Chardonnay, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc are the three varieties planted here.
Because rainfall is sparse throughout the growing season in Santa Barbara dry farming - which involves forgoing all irrigation - is exceptionally rare. During drought years fruit yields can plummet to almost zero which can make it difficult to bottle any wine at all. However, the fruit that does survive from this vineyard produces remarkably deep and provocative flavors. While it presents a significant challenge in hard vintages, dry farming this site is worth the hassle when things go right. Enjoy this shot of the gorgeous Tinaquaic Vineyard as its vines rest and recharge in preparation of struggling through another growing season.