Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Vintage Production: 220 cases
One of the producers at the forefront of Sta. Rita’s Hills’ success is Dragonette Cellars. Winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gills, and brothers Steve and John Dragonette, select the region’s elite vineyards to make Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of utter refinement and distinction.
Rita’s Crown vineyard is located at one of the highest points in the Sta. Rita Hills, adjacent to such famous sites as Mt Carmel and Sea Smoke. The soils are a mix of sandy and clay loams with a good amount of diatomaceous earth. Dragonette’s Chardonnay comes from two parcels: block 16, (clone 76) lies at 800-950 feet on a steep, west-southwest facing hillside above the monastery, and block 12 (clone 95), a steep south facing hillside just below and to the west.
These higher elevation blocks are exposed to fog and clouds most mornings and high winds most afternoons, cooling the vineyard. The climate and the low vigour soils produce a small canopy, small yields and a long, slow growing season. The wines here typically show beautiful, ripe tropical fruit flavours, balanced by remarkable acidity and strong notes of chalky minerals.