At Oceano Wines we pride ourselves in our ability to capture and highlight the uniqueness of Spanish Springs Vineyard in every bottle. Being the sole vineyard for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, we are able to focus all of our efforts on this San Luis Obispo County AVA vineyard.
Spanish Springs Vineyard is the closest vineyard to the Pacific Ocean in the larger Central Coast AVA, allowing it to have a distinguishing terroir. It is perched on the slopes of Price Canyon, less than two miles from the ocean. The cool marine breezes allow the grapes to slowly warm up throughout the day and ensure that the grapes gradually ripen and preserve the precious sugar and acid levels.
Each area in the San Luis Obispo AVA has its own special terroir that encompasses the soils and microclimates specific to that area. Spanish Springs Vineyard has mix of sandstone, shale, and limestone soils that are ideal for the growth of our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, although the vineyard also grows other red and white varietals.
The vineyard is also SIP (Sustainable in Practice) certified, which reflects the biodynamic grape growing and winemaking practices.
Oceano Wines winemaker, Marbue Marke, takes a “precision” winemaking approach to each vintage and each varietal, recognizing that each harvest is different and should be treated as such. The winemaking approach starts before planting has even begun, selecting clones that will grow to highlight the unique terroir of Spanish Springs Vineyard in a “sculping” rather than “painting” approach.
A precise approach to harvest is key to capturing and maintaining the acidity required to make exceptional wines. The timing of pick, process, temperature, yeasts, nutrients, barrels, aging time, and release date are all pertinent to the quality of the wine.
One important step that Marke uses is a low yield juice approach by using the five-hour press cycle on the Wilmes Sigma press. Pictured below is the Oceano Wines harvest crew, who start their harvest around three in the morning. This is ideal for many vineyards because it allows the grapes to stay cool during the harvest and keep the astringency to a minimum during their journey to the crush facility.
There is not one formula to make the best wine. Understanding the uniqueness of each varietal of each vintage and accommodating those needs allows Oceano Wines to continually produce award-winning wines that are unique to the Central Coast regions.
This article is also featured on the News & Features section of the ilovewine.com blog