A Utility Terrain Vehicle at Foley Estates, a lush vineyard that offers world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Are you going to Santa Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara County? If you are, make sure to check out Foley Estates, if you haven’t already, because it’s absolutely breathtaking in so many ways. The vineyard, the views, the wines…I need a moment…

My friends and I recently went on the UTV Vineyard Tour at Foley Estates, where we bounced along the rows of vineyards. In case you're wondering, a UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle), is an off-road vehicle tough enough to make us look like we were heading to the spring roundup at Yellowstone instead of to the next row of Cabernet. Billie, a Wine Educator with a WSET 3 (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), took us around to experience the beauty and wonder this vineyard has to offer. The first thing that caught my eye when we went on the UTV tour was the road. On one side, it’s lined with White Maple trees, representing Chardonnay; on the other side, it’s lined with Japanese Cherry trees, representing Pinot Noir. I was floored by the subtle, yet graceful way Foley Estates paid homage to their world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It really speaks volumes to their passion and creativity.

We explored the vineyard, which has acres and acres of varietals, and enjoyed the views from several scenic points. Did you know Chardonnay likes sand? None of us knew that until Billie gave us the 411. As it turns out, the sand helps the vineyard to retain heat and drain well, producing aromatic wines.

After our tour, we had the privilege of tasting each carefully crafted wine; one of them was even made in a giant wine egg! My favorite was the 2020 Foley Estates JA Ranch Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills. I could not get enough of the “earthy aromas reminiscent of raspberry brambles, crushed violets, and cedar shavings…and notes of lingonberry, blood orange, and dehydrated strawberry.” It’s definitely one fine wine that I was happy to take home.

The Winemaker at Foley Estates is Lorna Kreutz, and she is also the winemaker at both Lincourt Vineyards and Firestone Vineyard. The story she tells through her wines is incredible because they are interconnected across all three vineyards. If you want a truly elevated experience at all three wineries, book a Private Tour with Grapeline Wine Tours!

Now, please excuse me as I’m about to curl up on my couch, open the JA Ranch Pinot Noir, and reminisce about the time I had at Foley Estates. Until our next adventure…Cheers!

~ Kay Syrah

Wine Country Guru Gal

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