The Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is planted with seven different varietals, but over half of its acreage is made up of Syrah. Each block of Syrah has a different exposure, slope, and soil composition. These variables are just a few of the reasons why Syrah from the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard makes such fantastic wine. Visitors will often note that our Syrah is surprisingly complex for such young vines. This is due to the location of Sawyer Lindquist, the biodynamic farming of the vineyard, as well as the variety of Syrah plantings.
The Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is located in the Edna Valley near Arroyo Grande. This area is slightly warmer than the vines we work with at Bien Nacido in the Santa Maria Valley. Early in the morning the vineyard is covered with a marine layer of clouds and fog, but by 9:30am the clouds have lifted and a strong, unobstructed sun shines down on the grapes all day long. A strong wind comes straight down the mountain range off of Morro Bay, keeping the vineyard cool and the grapes dry. These factors allow for the grapes to get a lot of light and the right amount of heat. This means that the grapes get a long, even ripening without the sugar levels shooting through the roof. The grapes develop flavor but maintain healthy acid levels all the way to harvest, creating a perfect balance of fruit and acid.
Not enough can be said for the importance of biodynamic farming at the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard. The vineyard truly feels alive. There are bees buzzing, birds chirping, and aromas from the earth and surrounding fields wafting through the rows. It’s clear that the vines are strong and vibrant, but not overly vigorous or over-fertilized. By not using conventional fertilizers and pesticides, the vineyard is able to truly express itself and rely on its own ecosystem. Also, by not using conventional sprays or fertilizers the vineyard’s true character is not masked and the wines are able to convey a real sense of place.
Having so many different exposures and plantings of Syrah on this small plot of land may seem unnecessary and overly complicated. However, this variety is crucial to when it comes time to make wine. All of these different plantings of Syrah offer a different expression of Syrah. These different flavors, levels of acidity, and expressions of minerality are all taken and blended together to make truly remarkable and well balanced Syrah. The Syrah grown at Sawyer Lindquist goes into Qupé’s Central Coast Syrah, Sawyer Lindquist Syrah and Sawyer Lindquist “Sonnie’s” Syrah.
The wines that are made from Sawyer Lindquist grapes are wonderful examples of cool climate Syrah. Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Syrah are spicy, savory, peppery and have a great balance of acidity and fruit. The “Sonnie’s” Syrah is a special barrel selection from the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard. The “Sonnie’s” Syrah is a deeper and more complex expression of Sawyer Lindquist Syrah; it has has a distinct black pepper spice with savory fruit. Half of this wine was fermented with whole clusters of grapes, which adds to the structure, complexity and longevity to the wine.
The Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is a special place because of the incredible combination of soil, sun, wind and exposure. The grapes that come from Sawyer Lindquist are of fantastic quality; and with fantastic grapes you can make fantastic wine.