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Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Foley Estates Vineyard and WinerySummary: The Foley Estates tasting room is located in Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Visitors traveling to Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery will enjoy views of the Rancho Santa Rosa vineyards.

After entering the Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery property in Lompoc, California travelers will see an old red tractor. Winery visitors continue past acres of vineyards in front of the tasting room and then follow a long driveway lined with trees to the parking area. Although the tasting room and event facility is large, from some views the building reminds one of a cottage. One side of the facility has a patio with chairs and tables with umbrellas. We visited mid-morning and the fog had not burned off. Even in early July, there was a coolness in the air.

Foley Estates Vineyard and WineryInside, the tasting room is sophisticated with leather chairs placed in front of a large stone fireplace. A wood floor enhances the ambiance of the room. With a curved wood tasting counter a sense of coziness is felt.

Bill Foley founded Foley Estates in 1998. His keen interest in wine began when he traveled through Europe. After playing golf with friends in Santa Barbara they would come to wine country to taste wines. Since most of the winery tasting rooms closed by the time they reached the wine country, Bill decided to purchase property and start a winery. Bill spent a considerable amount of time and resources searching for the right property.

Foley Estates Vineyard and WineryEventually he purchased this property formerly a thoroughbred horse ranch. The vineyards with 230 acres onsite have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a bit of Syrah. Today Foley Estates vineyards include Rancho Santa Rosa and Rancho Las Hermanas. Total vineyard acreage is 500 acres.

Rancho Las Hermanas, originally planted by Fess Parker Winery, consists of two different vineyards. Bill Foley named each of the vineyards after his daughters Lindsay and Courtney. Lindsay's Vineyard has plantings of Pinot Noir while Courtney's Vineyard has Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Blanc.

Winemaking

Leslie Mead Renaud was the winemaker and now Lorna Kreutz, earlier an assistant winemaker to Leslie is the new winemaker. Lorna’s winemaking experience comes through her father who makes wine and worked in horticulture. Lorna worked at wineries and liked winemaking. She went on to get her enology degree.

Foley Estates Vineyard and WineryWhite Wines

JA Ranch Chardonnay 2010 Sta. Rita Hills was a light yellow. The wine was produced with 30 percent new French oak. The aroma and taste offered notes of pear, apple and citrus. The finish was crisp and fruit forward. T Anchor Ranch Chardonnay 2010 Sta. Rita Hills was 40 percent new French oak. This yellow wine offered notes of citrus, pear and a hint of caramel. The finish was crisp. Bar Lazy 2010 S Ranch Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills made in 50 percent new French oak was aged for 19 months. The aroma and taste offered notes of pear and citrus. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to caramel.

Foley Estates Vineyard and WineryRed Wines

JA Ranch Pinot Noir 2011 Sta. Rita Hills was made in 30 percent new French oak. This light ruby translucent wine offered notes of raspberries, spice and had mild tannins. The finish was fruity with cloves and nutmeg. Bar Lazy S Ranch Pinot Noir 2011 Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a light ruby with pink tint. The wine produced with 54 percent new French oak offered notes of raspberries and baking spices. The wine had medium tannins. The finish had notes of fruit with spices including cinnamon and cloves. Two Sisters Pinot Noir 2011 Sta. Rita Hills, Lindsay’s Vineyard was produced in 100 percent new French oak. The wine was aged for 20 months. This translucent ruby colored wine offered notes of white pepper, cherry and nutmeg. The wine had medium chewy tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit and spice notes.

We also tasted two Foley Estates wines at a special tasting of Santa Barbara County wines with Steven Spurrier. The 2011 Chardonnay from T Anchor Ranch, Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a dark yellow color. The wine offered notes of apple, pear, citrus and tropical fruits. The finish was crisp and fruity. The 2011 Pinot Noir from T Anchor Ranch, Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a red color. The wine had a floral aroma anda red berry fruit taste. The wine had bold chewy tannins.

Enjoy a visit to the Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery in Lompoc, California. The winery and tasting room are on a beautiful property.

Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery
6121 E Highway 246
Lompoc, California 93436

GPS: N34º 38.854’ W120º 18.268’

 

Article written July 2014


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