WHERE IT ALL BEGINS
The foundation of Lady of the Sunshine focuses on the vineyards we steward and also work with, by prioritizing organic and biodynamic farming practices. These farming practices force us to spend more time walking, listening and learning from the land we farm. The goal is simple, to leave the land in a better state than when we started.
It all started when…
Gina met a local family who owned the Chene Vineyard in 2014. When Gina returned to the Central Coast of California in the beginning of 2018, they offered the vineyard to Gina to farm and pursue biodynamic farming practices.
The Chene Vineyard is located in Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo County, on the Central Coast of California. The Chene Vineyard is a 6.5 acre vineyard that is densely planted with 12,000 vines, making up 5.5 acres of Pinot Noir and 1 acre of Chardonnay. The vineyard was planted in 2010 and is located on the south west side of the Edna Valley, 4 miles from the ocean. The soil composition is a mix of ancient sea bed sand dunes and volcanic tuff sandstone. This is a result of the volcanic activity that shaped the valley and it’s close proximity to the Pacific. The San Lucia Mountain range runs on the eastern border of the valley and the 9 Sisters run like a vein from Morro Rock in Morro Bay, through San Luis Obispo and down through to Islay Hill in Edna Valley.
Gina took over the farming practices in January of 2018. She is currently working with the Demeter organization to transition the vineyard to biodynamic farming practices. The vineyard will gain certification in June 2020, making it the second Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard in the Edna Valley appellation. Gina makes a vineyard designate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Chene Vineyards.
The Coquelicot Vineyard was the first vineyard that Lady of the Sunshine sourced organic fruit from in 2017. The Coquelicot Vineyard is located in San Ynez Valley, just on the outskirts of downtown Solvang. The vineyard is planted to 52 acres and consists of 13 acres of certified organic Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard was planted in 1999 and the soils are classified as Ballard gravelly fine sandy loam that are deep, well draining soils that formed from alluvial material from sedimentary rocks. The Clone 1 Sauvignon Blanc berries taste exactly like how you’d image - tropical, zesty, citrusy, like a paradise DREAM. And the wine tells of place, briny, lemon lime, pineapple. It’s hard not to fall in love with.
Oliver’s Vineyard is owned and farmed by Talley in Edna Valley. Neighboring Chene Vineyards, Oliver’s is just a stone’s throw north of the Lady of the Sunshine home vineyard. The two vineyards share a similar microclimate and soil types. Typically, the flat valley floors of Edna Valley are composed of fertile clay rich soils but Oliver’s is classified as Marimel Sandy Clay Loam, which is a calcareous sandy clay loam soil. Our wonderful friend, Ben Taylor, is the Talley vineyard manager and is working with us to transition a Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay block to organic farming practices. This collaboration focuses on friendship, elevating Edna Valley, and working towards better farming practices for the future. Lady of the Sunshine works with Oliver’s for a fun collaborative canned wine project with the boys of Companion Wine Company and also for the Lady of the Sunshine ‘Chevey’ Blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Bassi Vineyard is located 1.2 miles from the Pacific Ocean in Avila Beach. The Bassi Vineyard is planted to 30 acres and was purchased by Mike Sinor in 2013. Mike Sinor is local veteran winemaker who has been a huge influence and inspiration to both myself and husband Mikey in our winemaking careers. We are excited to be partnering with him in our new winery space in San Luis Obispo come December 2019. The Bassi vineyard is farmed organically with Mike executing biodynamic practices throughout the year. We are very excited to continue to explore this vineyard and the magic is makes. It seemed about time to introduce some sparkles into the Lady of the Sunshine lineup, so with the introduction of the Bassi Vineyard, also comes the introduction of Sparkling Chardonnay, release date September 2020.
Narrow Gate Vineyards
The place where it all began, Narrow Gate Vineyards, located in Pleasant Valley, in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California. My parents purchased this 90 acre property in 2000, when they gave up their 20 year careers in the fashion industry to pursue their dream of making wine full time. We moved from Huntington Beach on Valentines Day in 2000 and Narrow Gate was created. 15 acres of grapes were planted the following spring and a winery was built just below the 1950’s ranch house that was now our home. My dad is a first generation biodynamic farmer and winemaker who has created a dynamic and living farm, nestled in the mountains at 2,500 feet elevation. Surrounded by oaks, ponderosas, and cedar trees, the 15 acres planted on the Estate produce mountain wines, influenced by the volcanic terrain and biodynamic farming practices. If you find yourself in the Sierra Foothills, you must visit this place and experience its magic, there are no words to describe its beauty.
I’m very excited to be making my first wine from Narrow Gate Vineyards next year. We grafted one acre of Gamay on the property, allowing me to pay homage to my time spent in Beaujolais. The wine will be released in 2020, exciting things to come…