The joy of terroir
Star Lane Vineyard, Santa Barbara
Star Lane Vineyard is in Happy Canyon in California’s Santa Barbara County. It covers 81ha of slopes – ranging between 230m and 455m altitude – and was planted with Bordeaux varieties in 1998, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, although some Merlot can be seen along the ridge, with Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot in the foreground. The canyon has varied soil types, with silty clay loam, shale and sandstone. The resulting wines are Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blends, typically dark in colour and fruit-forward with herbaceous aromas. Star Lane is owned by the Dierberg family, who bought different vineyards in Santa Barbara during the 1990s. This is their warmest site with low rainfall, as evidenced by the golden swathes of fallow grassland, stretching away towards the Santa Ynez Mountains. Star Lane was formerly a ranch, hosting Hollywood stars and former US president Ronald Reagan.