Wine Growing - Vineyards

Founded by Dick Doré and Bill Wathen in 1985.
Sustainable wine-growers. Solar-powered winery.

Wine Growing - Vineyards

The Foxen Vineyards

Vogelzang Vineyard - Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, is an 80 acre gem that was planted in 1998. It sits in the heart of the Happy Canyon appellation, and has been the bread and butter for our 7200 wine program since2000. The planted varietalblocks are a mix of old vines on a 8X6 density and younger vines on a 6X3 density. The soils are gravelly loam cobbled withchert and serpentine. Like all of Happy Canyon, there are huge diurnal temperature swings from hot daytime to cool nighttime, sometimes 40-50 degrees farenheit in the course of the Summer. Foxen sources the following grapes from Vogelzang:

Sauvignon Blanc: Clone 1 and Musque clone

Cabernet Sauvignon: Clones 08, 337, 341 and See clone

Merlot: Clone 181 for our Range 30 West, Pajarito and Volpino blends

Mourvedre: Clone 4 for our Rose’

Petit Verdot: Clone 400 for our Pajarito blend

Syrah (Clone 1) and Viognier (Clone R1) for our Toasted Rope Syrah

Grassini Family Vineyard - Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, planted in 2002, sits on rolling terrain in the Southeast corner of the Happy Canyon appellation. The 35 acre site, composed of 32 varietal blocks, are all on a 6X3 planting density, which determines less and better balanced fruit per vine. The soils here have less of the cobble strewn surface, but are limited depth wise, another contributing factor to less fruitload per vine. Foxen sources Cabernet Sauvignon from the Grassini Family.

Block 5A: 1.31 acres of Clone 341

Block 5B: 0.89 acres of Clone 191

Williamson-Doré Vineyard - Santa Ynez Valley. Dick and Jenny's estate, was planted by the Foxen crew in 1999. The vineyard blocks are aligned on a true North/South, which maximizes the vines exposure to sunlight. Vine spacing is 8X4, fairly high density, with a Vertical Shoot Positioned (VSP) trellis. The soil here is shallow and heavy, which limits the vines vigor, hence reducing cluster and berry size.

Grenache: 1.6 acres of Tablas clone for our Cuvee Jeanne Marie.

Mourvedre: 0.5 acres of Tablas clone for our Cuvee Jeanne Marie.

Syrah: 1.94 acres of clone 174 and 1.94 acres of clone 877, for our Williamson-Dore single vineyard Syrah.

Sangiovese: 0.87 acres of Rodino clone, for our Williamson-Dore single vineyard Sangiovese.

John Sebastiano Vineyard - Santa Rita Hills, planted in 2007, is named for the vineyards two proprietors, John Wagner and Sebastian Sterpa. The vineyard has 150 acres planted, of which 104 acres are Pinot Noir composed of 48 distinct and unique situations. Foxen was invited to watch the groundbreaking and development of this site, and were able to pick our clones and blocks prior to planting. John Sebastiano Vineyard is located on the extreme Eastern edge of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. Soils here are clay-loam underlaid by limestone, and vary greatly in depth due to the nature of the slopes and swales. Vine spacing is 6X3 and trellising is VSP.

Pinot Noir, Block 19B: 2.31 acres of clone 2A on a clay knob. Row alignment is East/West.

Pinot Noir, Block 25A:2.71 acres of Dijon clone 667 at the highest elevation, shallow Loam soil with much limestone. Row alignment is North/South.

Pinot Noir, Block 34: 3.57 acres of Dijon clone 115 on a 45 degree West facing slope. Loamy soil is shallow on top and deepens as the block descends. Row alignment is East/West (downhill). This block is coined “Calfburner”.

Melville Vineyard - Santa Rita Hills, planted by the Melville family in 1996, sits in the heart of the 246 corridor of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. Here the terroir is dominated by cooling fog, coastal winds, sandy (dune) soils with some calcareous terraces. Foxen sources a small lot of Pinot Noir from the Melville's.

Pinot Noir, Block C: Foxen is allocated fruit from two sections in this block, Dijon 115 and Dijon 777. Vine density is 8X3 with East/West row alignment. The soil here is Corralitos Sandy Loam, commonly referred to as “sugarsand”.

Fe Ciega Vineyard - Santa Rita Hills, a 10 acre Pinot Noir site on the far western edge of the Santa Rita Hills appellation, was established by Richard Longoria in 1998. The vineyard lies 350 feet above the Santa Ynez river 8 miles from Lompoc. The terroir is characterized by cool days, clay loam soil underlain by fragmented shale, and a gentle south exposed slope. Foxen is allocated tonnage each year as determined by vineyard yields, generally from 2 tons up to 4 tons.

Pinot Noir, Fe Ciega: Dijon clone 115, Dijon clone 667 & Pommard.

La Encantada Vineyard - Santa Rita Hills, is a 100 acre vineyard planted by Santa Rita Hills pioneer Richard Sanford in 2000. This is one of the coolest sites in the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The terroir here is characterized by North facing mesas above the Santa Ynez river, open to the full impact of cooling afternoon coastal breezes. Soils are Gazos, Ballard and Santa Lucia loams with fragmented shale. Foxen has acreage leases at La Encantada.

Pinot Noir, Block 2: 2.01 acres of Dijon clone 777

Pinot Noir, Block 5S: 1.01 acres of Swan clone

Pinot Noir, Block 12: 0.85 acres of Dijon clone 667

Pinot Noir, Block 19: 1.00 acre of Dijon clone 115

Julia's Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley, sits on the prime middle of the Santa Maria Bench. Foxen sources Julia’s Pinot Noir from Block B3, planted in the early 2000’s on alluvial Elder shaley loam, just South and downhill from the Bien Nacido Vineyard. Tight density (6X4) and a VSP trellis minimize yields and maximize sunlight exposure. Block B3 is planted entirely to the Pommard clone of Pinot Noir. Foxen is allocated 5 tons from rows 1-10.

Ernesto Wickenden - Santa Maria Valley, the vineyard dates back to 1966 when it was planted by Dick’s cousin Buddy Wickenden, from budwood brought down from the Napa Valley. The three acre Chenin Blanc site is a small terrace of Elder sandy loam above Tepusquet Creek, which divides the East and West Tepusquet Bench. Because of its lower elevation, Ernesto Wickenden vineyard is protected from the afternoon coastal winds, so it gets a bit more heat summation. This original planting is on a 12X7 spacing, so the vines are enormous and average around 20 pounds of fruit at harvest time.

Tinaquaic Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley, Foxen’s estate ten-acre vineyard was planted by Dick and Bill in 1989 on the Doré family’s historic Rancho Tinaquaic. In their frugal “shoestring budget” style, the “Foxen Boys” gathered the canes for their little vineyard from already-pruned cuttings from historic Santa Maria Valley vineyards during evening hours in Dick’s old orange pickup truck. For this reason, they affectionately refer to their special cane collection method as the “Volar de Noche” or “fly by night”.

Foxen’s Tinaquaic Vineyard is the region’s only dry-farmed vineyard—which means that it receives absolutely no irrigation. Relying on only the water that Mother Nature provides, our estate vineyard must be meticulously farmed with the yields kept at extremely low levels. Because of this, and the fact that the grapes grow on the original rootstocks, Foxen is rewarded with grapes that display distinctive and intense varietal character.

The soil composition ranges from sandy to clay loam in this hillside vineyard that is perched about 500 feet above the winery and the Foxen Canyon floor. There are currently six acres of Chardonnay and a mere 1.5 acres each of Syrah and Cabernet Franc.

The “wedding tree” in the vineyard photo foreground is the site of Bill and Becky’s wedding in 1984

Riverbench Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley, was planted in the early 1970”s, although most of the fruit that Foxen sources from Riverbench are from vines planted in 2006 and 2007. The soils here are much different the those on the Tepusquet Bench, as they are alluvial sand littered with river rock. The vine density here is 12X5, with a VSP trellis and North/South aligned rows. Foxen selected the Pinot Noir clones to be planted here, and leases those vineyard blocks by the acre on a long term basis.

Pinot Noir, Block 38, 2007: 2.06 acres of Swan clone 2.94 acres of Dijon clone 667

Pinot Noir, Block 44, 2006: 3.0 acres of Dijon clone 115 1.94acres of clone 2A

MaMère Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley, is a small (0.45 acre) vineyard that sits directly across from the Foxen 7200 tasting shack. It was originally planted in the early 1980’s, but those vines were replaced with a state of the art planting in 2008. Vine density here is 2.5ft. X 3.5ft., almost 5000 vines per acre, and the clonal material is Cabernet Sauvignon 337. The terroir here is dominated by a huge eucalyptus tree, so the wine has a unique minty/camphory aroma.

Solomon Hills Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley, was planted by the Miller family (Bien Nacido Vineyard) in the late 1990’s. It is the westernmost and coolest planting in the Santa Maria Valley appellation. The terroir is characterized by mornings of dense marine layer that gradually clears, followed by cool, breezy afternoons. The soils are derived from ancient ocean floor sands that have little organic matter. Foxen leases acreage in Block 50 at Soloman Hills Vineyard for our single vineyard Pinot Noir series. Block 50 is a south facing slope with around 20% incline. Soil is Marina sandy loam.

Pinot Noir, Block 50: 1.07 acres of Dijon clone 115, rows 57-65.

Pinot Noir, Block 50: 0.98 acres of Pommard clone, rows 66-73.

Pinot Noir, Block 50: 0.99 acres of Dijon clone 667, rows 74-81.

Bien Nacido Vineyard - Santa Maria Valley, original plantings were in the early 1970’s Many of the original 12X7 blocks then were interplanted with more vines in the 1990’s and 2000’s. The vineyard sits at the western edge of the Santa Maria Bench, alluvial terraces and hills above the Sisquoc River. Summer daytime temperatures here are moderated by coastal fog and cool ocean breezes, which extend grape “hang time”. The soils here are deep and many layered, ranging from Shedd silty clay loams on shale at the higher elevations, 15-40% slope (Block 8, Block 43) to alluvium Elder loam on shale at the lower elevations, 2-9% slope (Block I, Block UU). Block 8 sits at 1000 ft. elevation, and Block 43 at 700 ft. Foxen both leases acreage and purchases rows by the ton at Bien Nacido Vineyard.

Chardonnay, Block I, 1973: 1.46 acres of clone 5 Chardonnay, Block I, 1999: 1.46 acres of clone 5 Chardonnay, Block UU, 1973: 1.35 acres of clone 4 Chardonnay, Block UU, 1991: 1.35 acres of clone 4 Chardonnay, Block O, 2006: 1.14 acres of clone 17

Pinot Noir, Block 8, 1996: 1.08 acres Dijon clone 115 1.09 acres Dijon clone 113 0.82 acres Mt. Eden clone 5.96 acres of Pommard clone 2.78 acres of clone 2A

Pinot Noir, Block 43, 2006: 1.27 acres of Dijon clone 667 1.27 acres of Dijon clone 777