' Ken Brown - Vineyards | Ken Brown Wines


John Sebastiano Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

One of Sta. Rita Hills’ newest plantings, this 100-acre vineyard is situated on the eastern edge of the AVA and boasts numerous microclimates. At an elevation of 500 feet, the site is particularly exposed to the cool, westerly winds coming off the Pacific Ocean. These conditions combined with high density planting and careful clonal selection limits yields and berry size, resulting in rich, concentrated flavors.

La Encantada Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

Located just west of the legendary Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, La Encantada is in the heart of Sta. Rita Hills’ quintessential Pinot Noir zone. The estate was planted by Richard Sanford in 2001. Comprised of 100 acres of mostly Pinot Noir, this north-facing vineyard is planted on a ridge straddling the Santa Ynez River Valley and is open to the cooling marine breezes, which sweep in from the Pacific Ocean. Soils are a combination of clay, loam, shale and sand.

Peake Ranch Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

The Peake Ranch Vineyard is one of the newer vineyards planted at the eastern end of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. This beautiful 50-acre estate is situated along a hill that gives the vines a unique combination of exposures to the cool breezes coming off the Pacific. Varietals planted include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Grenache. This vineyard is known for its lushly textured red wines as well as for smooth and aromatic Chardonnays.

Radian Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

One of the appellation’s most picturesque and coldest vineyards, this estate is located in the southwest corner of Sta. Rita Hills, unsheltered from direct exposure to cold wines and marine fog from the Pacific. Vines wrap around the undulating hillsides in an almost 360 degree pattern. Planted in 2007, Radian has quickly become one of the new superstars of the AVA. Soils are very rocky with clay loam with generous amounts of diatomaceous earth. The austere soils combined with persistent coastal winds result in small clusters and tiny berries, leading to deep, concentrated wines.

Rancho La Viña Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

Rancho La Viña Vineyard is located at the far western edge on the south side of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Planted in 2005 on a gently sloped mesa several hundred feet above the valley floor, the site is fully exposed to the cool winds coming off the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the coldest Pinot Noir plantings in California. The marine influence and windy location along with low fertility sandy loam soils result in very small berries, which in turn give the wine its remarkably deep, dark color and intense flavors.

Rio Vista Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

Ken Brown has worked with this meticulously farmed vineyard for many years. Planted in the early 2000s, Rio Vista is located at the southeastern end of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The slightly warmer microclimate results in luscious, ripe Pinot Noir. The dominate soils are limestone, sedimentary soils and a marine layer of sandy loam. The Pinot Noir clones planted on the estate include 777, 2A, 115, 667, 828, Pommard and Calera.

Rita’s Crown Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

Planted in 2007, Rita’s Crown has quickly become one of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The estate, located at an elevation of 600 to 950 feet on a dramatic southwest facing slope at the “crown” of the Santa Rita Hills, is one of the highest planted vineyards in the AVA. Its elevation makes this site particularly exposed to coastal fog and cool marine breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean, ideal for the production of premium quality Pinot Noir. The soils are sandy loam with ancient seashell deposits.

Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills

This vineyard is the birthplace of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation and played a significant role in bringing recognition to the great potential of the region. Planted by Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict in 1971, wines produced from this vineyard continue to set the highest quality standards. The soil type is the Botella Series, a composition of both clay and loam with a high calcareous content, which drains well and helps keep yields low. While about 50 acres of original plantings on their own rootstock are still farmed, other blocks have been replanted to top Pinot Noir clones, including 943 and 2A.

Thompson Vineyard
Alisos Canyon/Los Alamos Valley

Planted in the late 1980s, Thompson Vineyard has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding Syrah. The vineyard is planted along the slopes of Alisos Canyon in the Los Alamos Valley. Vines are planted on their own rootstock to the highly regarded Estrella clone, which was propagated in Paso Robles. Soils are low nutrient sandy loam, which helps restrict yields and promote vineyard expression.

Watch Hill Vineyard
Alisos Canyon/Los Alamos Valley

Planted in 2002, Watch Hill Vineyard is a relatively cool site, located between Santa Maria and Buellton in the recently created Alisos Canyon AVA in Santa Barbara County. The property consists of about 22 acres of Syrah vines planted to the finest Syrah clones and rootstocks, including Clone 7 sourced for this wine. The soils are a mix of sand and clay, low in nutrients, which helps keep the cluster size small and contributes to the striking dark color and rich concentration of the resulting wines.

Zaca Mesa Vineyard
Santa Ynez Valley

Zaca Mesa Vineyard is the birthplace of Santa Barbara County Syrah thanks to the vision of a young winemaker, Ken Brown. As Zaca Mesa’s first winemaker, Ken planted the Estrella Selection of Syrah in 1978 in what became known as the “Black Bear” block. The Estrella selection has uniquely adapted to Zaca Mesa’s terroir over the past 44 years, and is in the process of becoming a Heritage Clone by the U.C. Davis Foundation Plant Services Program. The vines are situated on a 1,400-foot mesa above the fog line, perfect for developing rich character and intensity.