Once the first: always the first. In 1971, the first pioneering vineyards in Santa Barbara were planted at Sanford Winery. This renowned cool climate AVA was not only launched by the planting of the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, but also expanded to neighbors’ plantings through cuttings from this vineyard. For over 40 years now, this iconic vineyard has set the standard for quality in the region and is also home to the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the county. Today the estate is owned, farmed and cared for by the Terlato family and is comprised of the Sanford & Benedict and La Rinconada Ranches and their vineyards.
Guided by a commitment to the land and the vision of multi-generational family ownership and leadership, the Terlato family and the entire Sanford winery team, are committed to producing the highest quality wines as true reflections of their vineyards and the varietals planted there. The goal is to create harmony within the vineyards which ultimately will allow for balanced, seamless and integrated wines. From this perspective, we believe sustainability is about taking a thoughtful, holistic and long term view of the world around us specifically as it relates to the vineyards in this location. At Sanford, we work to nurture balanced vines in a natural ecosystem. This approach allows us to shepherd our naturally healthy vines towards producing the highest quality fruit. It is this approach which ultimately allows us to capture the unique terroir of our estate.
The Sanford Estate encompasses more than just the winery and its two distinct vineyards. The property in total is comprised of two ranches (the Sanford & Benedict ranch and the La Rinconada ranch) totaling nearly 1,200 acres, with approximately 262 acres planted to vine. Much of the property remains undeveloped natural land, including a 127 acre conservation easement pledged to the Santa Barbara Land Trust. It is this balance of farmed versus unfarmed land on the ranches which helps us in creating and maintaining a balanced ecosystem and the ideal growing environment. While the two ranches had been separated by way of a sale, it was the Terlato family who purchased the Sanford & Benedict ranch, thereby reuniting it with the La Rinconada ranch and recreating the Grand Cru nature of the estate.