Sommelier Rajat Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman plan to create a new 'domaine' in the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County.
Rajat Parr…’super excited’
Sommelier Rajat Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman plan to create a new ‘domaine’ in the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County.
Parr, sommelier and wine director of the San Francisco-based Mina Group of restaurants, purchased properties with Moorman from Evening Land Vineyards. They will be naming their new venture Domaine de la Côte. The two already produce a label together, Sandhi.
The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, includes 16.2ha of planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, and an additional 16.2 ha of plantable land.
It also includes a small amount of 2010 in bottle and the 2011 and 2012 vintage wines in barrel. One of the vineyards, Memorious, is a Pinot Noir site on its own rootstock, planted from seeds.
Moorman, who helped establish Evening Land Vineyards in 2005 as its head winemaker, approached Parr and together they made an offer to purchase the property and its remaining wine.
‘When Evening Land planted this vineyard I was super excited,’ Parr said. ‘It was a very unusual planting, a very extreme site and I immediately thought I wanted to make wines from here. You get both delicate and intense Pinot Noir with a natural acidity and low pH wines.’
Moorman said, ‘The very small southern corridor of the Santa Rita Hills has the most exciting dynamics of elevation, soil, temperature, and exposure in Santa Barbara County, and perhaps in all of California.
‘This produces a wide range of climats, and that is exciting for the winemaker and the consumer. Furthermore, the long growing season and naturally high acidities make for wines with wonderful ripeness and elegance at very low alcohols.’
Written by Louis Villard