Santa Barbara County

Chris and Kathleen started Whitcraft Winery in 1985, what began as a hobby grew into a passion. Their son Drake grew up surrounded by the culture of wine and California winemaking, and was lucky enough to learn both from his dad and good friend Burt Williams, founder of Williams-Selyem winery in Sonoma. He also spent two years in Australia working at Green Vineyards with biodynamic guru Sergio Carlei. This gave him a taste for the way he wanted to work back home. When Drake took over the winemaking at Whitcraft in 2007 he continued with traditional techniques his dad was using: hand-harvesting, foot-treading and no additives in the winery. He also introduced biodynamic practices at their Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache vineyards and at the winery. He ferments whole-bunch inoculating with a yeast native, there are no pump-overs and wines stay on the lees. He fills and corks every bottle by hand after adding just enough SO2 to stabilise the wines. The resulting wines are clean and beautifully balanced. They represent a cross section of the emerging class of site-specific wines coming out of Central Coast California today.

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