My Return to Santa Barbara: Part Two of Our Wine Country Trip
Dallas Wine Chick | April 13, 2018
"I loved the pinot designations of Earth, Sky, Sun and Moon - depending on where they were grown in the vineyard...I had a hard time choosing my favorite."
Tasting in the Santa Rita Hills
Pursuing Pinot | March 23, 2018
"The tasting room is open by appointment only and after ringing the call bell, the gate swung open and we drove up the familiar driveway to the winery."
VCS Eats, Issue 58
Ventura County Star | February 22, 2018
"At Hilliard Bruce Vineyards, the artfully rusted entry gate is in stark contrast to the working winery and tasting room, a sleek structure that earned LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (The wines by owners John Hilliard and Christine Bruce with production manager Sonja Magdevski, of Casa Dumetz, ain’t bad, either.)"
Sta. Rita Hills AVA - Burgundy on the Central Coast
Jim Lockard On Wine | January 17, 2018
"This was my first visit to Hilliard Bruce and you have to be impressed with the beautiful grounds, architecturally striking winery/tasting room building, and the vineyards of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The wines do not disappoint."
Press Release: Hilliard Bruce Winery Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification
November 12, 2015
Hilliard Bruce Winery announced today that it has been awarded LEED® Silver, a rating established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC.)
The 11,750-square-foot wine production facility in Lompoc, California, achieved LEED certification through a design that provides a significant reduction in energy and water use, as well as the use of green building materials and the incorporation of a variety of sustainable strategies.
Hilliard Bruce Winery is architecturally breathtaking and purely unique. Its design was intended to be equally functional, beautiful, and sustainable. “Sustainability was anticipated in the design and was the motivation throughout the project,” says John Hilliard, Owner. “We wanted a bold and modern winery, yet one that recedes into the hills by the rusted steel siding, and reflects the view of the landscape with the glass front.” From any location within the winery, two stories of glass windows allow an unobstructed view of the Purisima Hills and vineyards, while providing an outdoor surface that requires very little maintenance. “We craved natural light and a sense of the connection with our land...and color!” Hilliard says. The colored LED lights throughout the building provide a thoughtful sense of fun and function.
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Hilliard Bruce Winery is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”
Certification of Hilliard Bruce Winery was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. A summary of green features follows:
- The landscape utilizes permeable pavers, bioswales and basins to efficiently filter and infiltrate storm water, which reduces runoff and recharges groundwater.
- Water used for processing is recycled and used for adjacent field irrigation.
- A 32% reduction in indoor water use has been achieved through restricted-flow fixtures.
- Water-efficient plants and trees have been used throughout the landscape, reducing outdoor water use by 55%.
- The building uses 41% less energy compared to similar winery buildings.
- Balanced day lighting in all spaces has been created with windows and solar tubes. • Energy efficient LED lighting is used throughout the building, producing little to no heat, designed to keep the winery and cellar cool.
- A gravity-fed system is used for wine processing, reducing the use of pumps.
- Night venting and subterranean construction provide passive thermal cooling.
- A 10kW photovoltaic rooftop system provides 28% of energy usage.
- 35% of the electricity used annually is purchased from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
- The site design provided vegetated open space for 52% of the project site. • Core-ten steel siding and glass provide minimal maintenance
- Architect: Vladimir Milosevic
- Project Manager: Tom Davidson
- Contractor: Rarig Construction
- LEED Consultant: In Balance Green Consulting
- Photo Credits: Jeremy Ball, Bottle Branding
U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With certified projects in more than 150 countries and territories, seventy-six U.S. chapter affiliates, and more than 199,000 credentialed LEED professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $120-145 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2015.
More statistics on green building available at: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/green-building-facts
Hilliard Bruce Winery is located at 2075 Vineyard View Lane, Lompoc, CA 93436. For more information about the winery, estate vineyards, and wines, please visit www.hilliardbruce.com. For a private visit, contact email@example.com.
The Tasting Panel
August 06, 2014
Anthony Dias Blue highly rates all of the current Hilliard Bruce releases.
- 91 Hilliard Bruce 2011 Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
Fresh and juicy with bright, tangy acidity and ripe fruit; racy, elegant and balanced; long and charming.
- 90 Hilliard Bruce 2011 Earth Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
Tangy, smooth and ripe with fresh cherry and notes of earth, spice and soft oak; long and balanced, fresh and elegant.
- 91 Hilliard Bruce 2011 Sun Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
Ripe and juicy with tangy acidity and crisp cherry fruit; long, fresh and bright with balance and style; long and elegant.
- 91 Hilliard Bruce 2011 Sky Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
Lush and smooth with deep black cherry and racy with meaty notes and depth; long, rich and balanced; dense
The SOMM Journal
August 01, 2014
Read Deputy Editor Jonathan Cristaldi's interview with John Hilliard and Christine Bruce.
June 13, 2014
90 Points - Hilliard Bruce 2010 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Sun -
"A charming style, offering subtle flavor nuances on a rich, full body, with black cherry, anise and light loamy earth notes. Ends with fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2020. 600 cases made."-J.L.
Wine & Spirits
June 13, 2014
Hilliard Bruce 2011 Sta. Rita Hills Sky Pinot Noir - 90 Points
"John Hilliard and Christine Bruce planted their vineyard in 2004 on extremely sandy soils near Highway 246. This is composed of some of the more delicate lots off the estate. New oak (50 percent) cloaks the wine's fruit a bit, but plenty of brightness shows through, with juicy red plum flavors fleshing out the wine's stony tannins, finishing with a cool spiciness (420 cases)" - Hilliard Bruce Vineyards, Santa Maria CA
Santa Barbara News - "SCHAEFER ON WINE: Attention to detail at Hilliard Bruce"
June 13, 2014
If you haven't heard about Hilliard Bruce Vineyards yet, you soon will. Like right now.
Wine Review Online
June 13, 2014
Mary Ewing-Mulligan's 91 point review of our 2011 Chardonnay for Wine Review Online is heart felt and beautifully written. We feel honored to have been featured.
International Wine Cellar
June 13, 2014
Josh Raynolds features several glowing reviews for the wines of Hilliard Bruce on Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar:
- 92 Points - 2010 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills
Bright yellow. Pungent, high-pitched aromas of orange zest, smoky minerals and iodine are lifted by a floral topnote. Highly concentrated, bright and mineral-driven, offering intense, floral-tinged citrus and orchard fruit flavors and hints of anise and buttered toast. Closes on a spicy note, with excellent clarity and length.
- 92 Points - 2011 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Pinot Noir Sky Santa Rita Hills
Brilliant ruby-red. High-pitched, floral-accented aromas of red berries and cola, with a bright mineral overtone. Juicy and precise, offering sappy raspberry, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that gain sweetness and depth with air. Closes silky and very long, with smooth tannins adding shape and grip. This suave pinot reminded me a lot of a high-class wine from Chambolle-Musigny.
- 91 Points - 2011 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Pinot Noir Earth Sta. Rita Hills
Bright red. Fresh cherry and dark berry aromas gain freshness and spiciness with air, picking up a smoky quality and a hint of rose. Juicy and focused in the mouth, offering densely packed blackberry and bitter cherry flavors lifted by zesty acidity. Finishes with very good persistence and energy, repeating the cherry and smoke notes and showing some youthfully firm tannins.
- 93 Points - 2011 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Pinot Noir Sun Sta. Rita Hills
Vivid red. Assertive aromas of raspberry, cherry-cola and candied flowers, with Asian spice and woodsmoke accents building with air. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering alluringly sweet, concentrated red fruit liqueur flavors and a hint of musky rhubarb. Shows very impressive verve and clarity on a long finish sparked by a zesty blood orange note.
- 93 Points - 2010 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Pinot Noir Sun Sta. Rita Hills
Ruby-red. Highly perfumed aromas of cherry compote, sassafras, anise and smoky herbs, with a suave potpourri nuance adding complexity. Juicy, expansive and powerful, offering intense black raspberry and cherry-cola flavors and a touch of floral pastilles. Dusty tannins build slowly on the very long and focused finish.
- 92 Points - 2010 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Pinot Noir Moon Sta. Rita Hills
Bright ruby. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes dark berry liqueur, candied cherry, incense and vanilla, with a suave floral overtone. Lush, fleshy and focused on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors and notes of star anise and bitter chocolate. Finishes sweet, spicy and long, with sneaky tannins and appealing florality.
June 12, 2014
Wine writer Katie Kelly Bell offers a fascinating look at what many wine grape growers are doing to make their vineyards truly sustainable beyond the traditional "marketing speak."
June 12, 2014
- 92 Points - Hilliard Bruce 2011 Sun Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)
The descriptor “Sun” is apt, for this Pinot brims with the ripe, fruity flavors that only a brilliant, moderate climate can achieve. Raspberries and cherries flood the palate, brightened by crisp coastal acidity, and given structure by silky, complex tannins. As delicious as this wine is, it should gain bottle complexity over the next eight years. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
- 90 Points - Hilliard Bruce 2011 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)
Bright acidity combines with lush, ripe tropical fruit, citrus and peach flavors to yield this impressive Chardonnay. There’s a tangy minerality that adds to the complexity of the mouthfeel. The richness immediately suggests dramatic lobster, crab or scallop dishes. —S.H.
- 90 Hilliard Bruce 2011 Sky Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)
Ripe, flashy fruit marks this savory Pinot Noir. The Santa Barbara sun has given lush raspberry and cherry flavors, while the fogs and cold winds of the Santa Rita Hills have encouraged vital acidity. The result is an impressive Pinot Noir you can drink now, but it should hold and develop until at least 2022.
June 11, 2014
- 95 Points - 2011 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir Sky
The 2011 Pinot Noir Sky is one of the most beautiful wines proprietors John Hilliard and Christine Bruce have made in their short history. A burst of juicy dark fruit melds into expressive, floral and spiced notes supported by veins of salinity as this exuberant Pinot shows off its racy personality. Rich, full-bodied and intense, the 2011 Sky boasts exceptional balance to match. What a wine!
- 93 Points - 2011 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir Sun
Crushed flowers, tobacco, savory herbs and licorice emerge from the glass in the 2011 Pinot Noir Sun. A bit softer and more delicate than the Sky, the Sun is forward, open and beautifully expressive. Dried rose petals, spices and licorice all add layers of nuance. The 2011 spent 18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new.
- 2011 Hilliard Bruce Chardonnay
The 2011 Chardonnay is beautifully open, resonant and expressive. Apricot, peach and spice notes inform the gentle, caressing finish in an approachable, medium-bodied Chardonnay long on polish and personality. All the elements are in gorgeous harmony. The 2011 was aged in French oak, 30% new, and did not complete its malolactic fermentation, not unusual in this cool vintage.