Get the Dirt about Lavender Oak Vineyard from Dean Heck

2 Jul

lavendaroakgrapes1. What was your first vintage year? 2012

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? Around 1000

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room but people can make an appointment. We host small groups (8 to 20 all the time). Just give us a shout.

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? Michael Benedict is our winemaker/mentor and eventually we (my wife and I) will be the primary winemakers

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Good question…we always wanted to have a vineyard.

6. What varietals do you work with? We planted 20,000 vines in 2011. Mostly classic Bordeaux grapes – Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. We also have about one acre each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

7. What vineyards do you source from? Our current wines were sourced from Sanford and Benedict Vineyard and Wente Vineyards. Our estate wines will be online in 2018. Our red wines for our estate red blend were sourced mostly from Sunridge nursery.

lavendaroaklabel8. What type of oak treatment do you use? 100% French oak, mostly 20% to 30% new.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? Santa Barbara wines are changing fast for the better…everyone is striving for quality.

10. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? It was the site of a former lavender farm and horse property that we converted to a vineyard and winery. Michael Benedict is a legend and a very smart, soft spoken professor…we are learning so very much from him.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Make more money in your day job prior to starting a tough venture like the wine business.

12. Most importantly, what’s so great about being small? What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn’t be possible for larger wineries? One word, quality.

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? We are still in the growth and learning mode and our signature product, our estate red blend has not even been released yet. We will be at full production and full release of all our wines in about 2 years.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Bordeaux

For more information about Lavender Oak Vineyard, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

Comments are closed.