Bentrock Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

Block 23, Clone 777

In geological terms, a suite refers to a succession of closely related sedimentary strata. In my terroir terms this is the closest thing I can think of when describing this particular block at the Bentrock Vineyard.

Most of the tiny blocks that I work with in my Terroir Extraordinaire Portfolio are very uniform. Because they are so small, it is much less likely to find a great deal of diversity within the blocks. In my mind this leads to very pure expressions of soil types throughout the Portfolio. However, this little block that I call The Suite has two fairly distinctive soils comingling in the same place. Think of it as sort of an Oxford styled shoe. One soil is a lighter grayish color and appears to be of a sandier makeup, while the other soil is brown and seems to be more of a heavier loam.

I had to think about this for a while, because it does not really conform to what I am accustomed to. Then again, if you designate a section of a vineyard, the precise location of which you are going to make a wine from each year, then that wine will be an exptression of the soil that it has come from, regardless of what that soil looks like to human eyes.