When you enter the Foley Estates property you are greeted with rolling hills and exceptional vistas. Nestled at the base of contoured hillsides painted with estate vineyards, the tasting room and winemaking facility (12,000 square foot winery building) is the perfect destination to experience Santa Barbara wine country. Formerly a thoroughbred horse ranch, this stunning property has a quintessential Sta. Rita Hills charm that is both elegant and inviting. Foley Estates was founded in the late 1990’s and today is considered one of California’s top producers of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
Exceptional Vineyard Sites
Much of Foley Estates’ success is attributed to its strict winemaking protocols coupled with two extraordinary estate vineyards: Rancho Santa Rosa and Rancho Las Hermanas. To find the perfect site to cultivate these exceptional wines, topography, soils and climate were all considered.
Rancho Santa Rosa is a historic parcel located in the Sta. Rita Hills region of the Santa Ynez Valley. It has the steep, south facing hillsides and the limestone soils that are the “holy grail” to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vintners. Today, this vineyard is subdivided into 59 micro-blocks which are farmed, harvested and vinified separately. Pinot Noir is situated in the highest reaches of the ranch, with elevations to one thousand feet. The Chardonnay sits on the rolling hills surrounding the winery. There is also eight acres of Syrah planted on the western corridor. The Rancho Las Hermanas vineyard is planted on over six different soil types, all of marine origin. The various soil types and slope exposures create ideal microclimates for each varietal to express its full potential.
Winemaker Ryan Aura’s job is to show the best expression of the Foley vineyards, working with the fruit as nominally as possible. He spends much of his time in the vineyards throughout the year, making daily trips to the vineyard during harvest to determine when the fruit is ripe and ready to pick.
The wines at Foley Estates are produced with different clones and aging methods to highlight each wine’s uniqueness. Every clone brings a different level of fruit, floral and perfume notes, structure and ageability, and it is up to you to decide which one you will fall in love with. The newly released 2015 brand series lineup includes the Foley 2015 T Anchor Ranch Pinot Noir which is all about the Pommard clone. The 2015 JA Ranch Pinot Noir embraces clones 113 and 115, while the 2015 Bar Lazy S Ranch Pinot Noir uses clone 2A.
Experience Foley Estates
A visit to Foley Estates is truly something special. The 3,500 square foot tasting room has a grand yet intimate feeling when you enter the double doors. High ceilings, a stone fireplace and two walk up tasting bars decorate the room. There are also outdoor seating areas for guests to enjoy wine while taking in the stunning views of the property. The tasting room offers a range of experiences to make your visit memorable.
The Standard Tasting ($15) features five current release wines and is offered daily at the large walk-up bar. For an elevated tasting, the Wine and Cheese Pairing takes place in a private room just off the tasting room and includes five wines paired with artisanal cheeses. The Wine and Cheese Pairing is offered Monday through Sunday by appointment (24 hour notice required) for $40.The Barrel Tasting & Production Tour provides an exclusive look into the making of Foley Estates wines. Guests taste the evolution of wine from barrel to bottle, offered Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. by appointment for $60.
With breathtaking scenery, amazing hospitality and ultra-fine wines, your next trip to the Sta. Rita Hills would not be complete without a visit to Foley Estates.
Winemaker, Ryan Aura
Located in the heart of the famed Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the temperate coastal climate, south-facing hills and limestone soils amount to the “holy grail” of elements for producing world-class Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Foley knew he needed a winemaker who could exemplify this fruit and create wines in their likeness, and so Ryan Aura joined the team. As Winemaker, Aura is committed to crafting ultra-fine, handmade, cool climate wines from the Sta. Rita Hills that make Foley Estates one of California’s preeminent producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.