Bien Nacido remains one of my favorite Central Coast vineyards. In California, 'cool-climate' generally refers to viticultural regions that are influenced by the ocean (maritime climates) and temperatures that commonly fall under Region I on the UC Davis chart of heat summation. Vineyards planted in cooler climate regions have a longer growing season that allows grape clusters to reach physiological ripeness at lower sugars while reaching very complex and intricate flavors. Bien Nacido is also the first vineyard in California to grow cool-climate Syrah. Their vines are meticulously farmed and bring some of the most revered and distinct wines of California.
Qupe shares a winery with Au Bon Climat on the Bien Nacido Vineyard property in Santa Maria Valley. Qupe employs traditional winemaking practices, respecting the terroir and allowing the grapes to speak for themselves. Their grapes are all either grown organically or biodynamically.
The 2010 Qupe Bien Nacido Cuvee is a Northern Rhone style blend of 50% Viognier and 50% Chardonnay. The Viognier brings an exotic floral and peach aroma while green apple, honey, and lively acidity from the Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay completes the palate. The retail price hovers around $20, which is an excellent deal for such an interesting white!