- Grape: Pinot Noir
- Region: Santa Barbara, USA
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Master Sommeliers notes
Owner and winemaker Justin Willett started Tyler winery in 2005 - his first vintage a modest eight barrels. Previously he had worked in vineyard management as well as assistant to winemaker Joe Davis at Arcadian. Emerging when the market’s appetite was for full-bodied wine with high alcohol content, in a very short space of time he has established himself as a leader in the movement to make balanced, harmonious wines. He is a very serious and talented young man dedicated to making the Burgundian style of wine loved by so many. Careful viticulture and low impact winemaking are guiding principles.
In Justin’s own words: “Tyler is dedicated to producing wines of delicacy and balance, where structure and nuance are favoured above all else. Our focus is exclusively on exceptional vineyard sites throughout the Santa Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley within Santa Barbara County, and we feel Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the best mediums to express each vineyard site. Within these two appellations, the unique combination of marine-based soils, transverse ranges and valleys, and cool ocean influence make this a truly wonderful place for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”
The winemaking process starts in the vineyard where Justin leases special plots of some of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Rita Hills. The grapes are harvested at the optimum time to retain fruit and acidity, and are then handled with utmost care in the winery to avoid any level of over-extraction. The only addition of any kind is a minimal amount of sulfur prior to bottling, and the resulting wines are fine, elegant and restrained, with deep acidity and mineral tension.