Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards unleashes unbridled spirit in Templeton, CA

Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards, named for the wild mustangs that used to roam the hills above the vineyard, has been an icon since 1983 as California’s Central Coast luxury winery. California’s Central Coast is the largest American Viticultural (science, production, and study of grapes) Area with home to 360 wineries. Since Day 1, practicing sustainability has been a part of the process – weeding is done by their Barbados sheep and Floyd the llama, recycling winery wastewater for irrigation; planting covering crops to attract beneficial insects, control erosion, and increase nitrogen in the soil; mixing grape pomace (solid remains of grapes after pressing) with manure to produce high-quality compost; and providing homes for owls who patrol the vineyards for rodents and other pests.

2012 Chardonnay process began with grapes picked in the early morning to ensure coolness and delivered directly to the press to gently squeeze the fresh juice. After settling in a tank overnight, the juice was moved to another tank for yeasting – 70% went into new and neutral French oak barrels to attain a full and creamy mouthfeel associated with sur lies (leaving the wine in contact with its lees or yeast particles) stirring and 30% in stainless steel to accentuate the bright citrus and apples notes. The Chardonnay was aged for nine months before blending (97% Chardonnay, 2% Verdelho, and 1% Malvasia Bianca) and bottling. Aromatics experienced were clean, lemon, and pineapple. Flavors experienced were green apple, citrus, and smooth with a touch of sourness. Possible food pairings would be aged cheese, citrus-marinated chicken, and grilled salmon. Thumbs up!


OC Food Diva