The Hilt Estate
About The Hilt Estate
The region of Santa Barbara, and specifically, the Sta. Rita Hills Valley rivals Sonoma as the finest place to grown cool-climate Pinot Noir in California. With Santa Barbara only reaching a maximum temperature of 28°C last year, it is the coolest wine-growing area in the state of California making conditions ideal for this classically Burgundian varietal.
With its home in this very area, The Hilt was founded by Stan Kroenke, who also owns the world-famous Screaming Eagle and Bonneau du Martray, in 2008 with a mission to produce the finest Pinot Noir possible.
The unobstructed, ocean-facing east-west valley known as Sta. Rita Hills Valley is a complex AVA. One could divide it into four quadrants: northern-facing, southern-facing, close to the ocean, and further inland from the ocean. With such a frame, The Hilt’s favourite vineyards are in the northern-facing, closest to the ocean, windswept quadrant where conditions are at their harshest - these sites are the worst place for a grape grower, but the best for a winemaker safe in the winery!
Rancho Salsipuedes, where The Hilt is based, provides vineyards planted on land nearly 13 unobstructed miles from the ocean on the west. This unique, large and sprawling property offers a range of altitudes, aspects, soil types, and microclimates, giving winemaker Matt Dees a patchwork of vineyard parcels from which to select grapes and create wines with distinctive styles.