The Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard
Located in San Luis Obispo County’s Edna Valley AVA, Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard covers 40 prime acres of an 80-acre ranch. Grape varieties planted include Pinot Noir, Spanish Tempranillo and Albariño, and Rhône representatives Marsanne, Syrah, and Grenache. All are farmed using biodynamic methods and harvested by hand.
Bob Lindquist and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist planted the vineyard in 2005, first conditioning the raw land with biodynamic preparations. These preparations promote soil vigor, while fostering the health and diversity of the ranch, which biodynamic practitioners view as a living organism.
In 2009, the vineyard received biodynamic certification from the Demeter Association, the U.S. representative of Demeter International, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the planet through agriculture. That same year, the wines made from the vineyard were crafted according to biodynamic standards and certified by Demeter Association. [demeter]
The robust vines climb the rolling hills of the ranch, where low pH soils are composed of gravelly clay loam mingled with mudstone. They thrive in a climate rated an upper Region I on the U.C. Davis Winkler Scale. Average summer highs reach temperatures in the mid-70 degrees F., while nighttime lows drop to about 50 degrees F.
Marine fog rolls in during the evening hours, but burns off nicely in late morning. This cool climate results in a long growing season that yields grapes with naturally high acidity and a delightfully broad spectrum of flavors.
Three large gardens, stocked with beneficial plants, grow in strategic areas of the vineyard. These oases of diversity bloom with a variety of native California plants selected to attract bees, butterflies, ladybugs, and other helpful insects.
Bob and Louisa also installed six owl boxes throughout the vineyard, inviting the hungry predators to move in and help control such pests as gophers and ground squirrels. During the winter months, when the vines lie dormant, about 150 sheep graze among the vineyard rows, simultaneously keeping weeds down and supplementing the soil’s fertility.
The first release from Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, the 2008 vintage, debuted to positive reviews. The wines from that and subsequent vintages display lively flavors and a lovely balance, qualities that bode well for the future of this cutting-edge and environmentally sound vineyard.