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Hilliard Bruce Vineyards

Our Blog

Elena Salcido
 
June 3, 2018 | Elena Salcido

Walking through the Vineyard

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If you have visited the winery recently, you probably met me in the tasting room. You can often find me there, pouring John & Christine's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and talking about how all of our wines are produced on the estate: from grape to glass. 

Even though I've worked at Hilliard Bruce for almost a year and a half, it's not often that I make the trek out into the vineyard, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a tour with Shannon Gledhill of Coastal Vineyard Care. As soon as we drove out of the winery parking lot and into the vineyard, I thought, "Why don't I get out here more often?!"

After taking the tour, I was reminded of how awe-inspiring the property is, and feel compelled to share with you a few of the most fascinating facts that I learned:

  • Hilliard Bruce teamed up with Sustainability in Practice (SIP) when it was a pilot program and became one of the very first SIP certified growers! Our 10 year anniversary with SIP was on May 17, 2018. 
  • We recycle the water used at the winery as part of our LEED Silver Certification. There is a tank under the road that gets pumped out and used for irrigating the landscape.
  • The property produces its own compost, which is a combination of: the remains of grapes after pressing (pomace), green matter, and horse manure from Christine's Arabian horses. It is made at our on-site aerated compost facility, which blows air through the pile instead of turning it. 
  • There are flowers planted throughout the vineyard to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. While the insects aren't needed for pollination, as grapes are self-pollinating, they act as predators to some of the pests on grapes. 

...and that's just the beginning! There is always something new to learn, which is both daunting and exciting in equal measure. I drive past the vineyards at the front of the property almost every day, but it is another experience altogether to stand between the rows, learn about the agricultural side of winemaking, and look up close at what will -- in just a few short months -- become the 2018 vintage. 

I hope that you will join us in the vineyard and experience Hilliard Bruce for yourself, either by joining us on an upcoming vineyard tour or by making an appointment to come taste with us. It is our pleasure to host you!

Best,
Elena

Hospitality
elena@hilliardbruce.com
805.736.5366
Time Posted: Jun 3, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Sonja Magdevski
 
April 23, 2018 | Sonja Magdevski

My First Season at Hilliard Bruce

My first season at Hilliard Bruce has been inspiring. For those of you who have
had the pleasure of visiting the property, you know it is impossible to have a bad day
here. During harvest, we had many exhausting ones, though once I looked up across the
winery and out to the gleaming landscape of the Sta. Rita Hills, all stress washed away. I
can’t believe that within a few short months grapes will be ripening again for the 2018
season to begin the cycle anew.

Currently in the barrel room we have the estate wines from our 2017 harvest
maturing in a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels. At the end of March
we bottled the 2016 vintage. For the Pinot Noir selections, we bottled the Moon, Sun and
Sky designates that correspond to their unique plantings on the property. Additionally we
bottled a very limited selection of Pinot Noir Sun 667. This tiny 50 case lot was created
exclusively for our club members. For the Chardonnay production, we are equally
excited to offer you the new 2016 Venus. As always, this 100% new French oak bottling
is personally selected by Christine from her favorite barrels in the cellar. This toasty
citrus marked effort will be perfect for autumn gatherings and holiday celebrations.
As a reminder of how pure and expressive the Chardonnay is from this property,
have you had the 2014 Estate recently? If you have any in your cellar, make sure to bring
it to the forefront of your wine list, as you will be tremendously pleased. If you most
likely have enjoyed yours already, plan on stocking up for the summer. I am in Michigan
on business as I write this and last night at the end of the evening after a boisterous
tasting event I had a moment to enjoy a glass of wine. Someone handed me some
Chardonnay sight unseen. I tasted it and said, “This is delicious! Have I had this before?”
They all laughed as they showed me the bottle.

For the vineyard, spring is in the air! We have 21 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot
Noir planted on the property in 3 unique sections that surround the winery. We have an
upcoming Father’s Day vineyard walk that I am hosting that special Sunday where we
will tour the rows and taste the wines that correspond with their chosen vines. Growth
should be significant to preview the status of the coming harvest. The beauty of
connecting with a small boutique winery like Hilliard Bruce is that we have the luxury of
sharing every aspect with what we do and how we do it personally with you. We thrive
on that. I do hope you will join us soon for a visit. Any special requests, please always
feel free to contact me at anytime. My direct email is: production@hilliardbruce.com.

Time Posted: Apr 23, 2018 at 2:28 PM