Santa Barbara County

Drake Whitcraft makes beautifully balanced, site-specific wines in his low-fi Santa Barbara winery. He gets his grapes from sought after sites like Pence, La Rinconada and Stolpman, and makes all his wines in a hands on, low-intervention way - describing himself as a wine shepherd more than a winemaker. His parents Chris and Kathleen started Whitcraft Winery in 1985, what began as a hobby grew into a passion. Drake grew up surrounded by the culture of food and wine in California, and was lucky enough to learn both from his dad and good friend Burt Williams, founder of Williams-Selyem winery in Sonoma. When Drake took over in 2007, he started to source fruit from cooler climate sites, which worked organically as a minimum, and introduced biodynamic practices at the winery. He ferments whole-bunch, there are no pump-overs and wines age 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.

Producer Links: