Santa Ynez Valley AVA
With a long and colorful heritage, Gainey Vineyards is producing incredibly notable wines
Purchased in 1962, the 1800-acre undeveloped site stretching across the eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley was among the largest in the area. In the mid- 1980’s, the Gainey family was among the earliest to plant vineyards and amongst the first to build a winery to support their plantings. Today the operation is in the capable hands of Dan Gainey and produces around 20,000 cases annually.
“Over the years, my father contributed much to the region’s burgeoning wine business while shunning the limelight,” explained Dan Gainey. “I joined the winery in 1986, and one of the joys of my life was working alongside my father over the next 28 years. Among the highlights of our partnership was the acquisition and planting of our Evan’s Ranch and Rancho Esperanza in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, which gave us vineyards in both the warmer and cooler ends of Santa Ynez Valley, enabling us to match our various grape varieties to their ideal environments.”
More importantly, the afore-mentioned 120-acre Evan’s Ranch (named after Dan Gainey’s great grandfather Evan) was added a full five years prior to the Sta. Rita Hills receiving its AVA status. At the time many wineries were unaware of the area’s prowess as a prime growing region. Of course, Dan Gainey (who is the 3rd generation of his family to run the business) was one of the main movers in getting the Sta. Rita Hills AVA established in 2001. A high number of specific Gainey Vineyard Estate Pinot Noirs have flourished during this time, something of a rarity among producers of the varietal.
Quite naturally, the Pinot Noir grape was the main motivation for acquiring this vineyard and the resulting vintages have proven the wisdom of Dan Gainey’s move. Gainey Vineyard Pinot Noirs have garnered numerous awards and high scores and have always been considered among the premier Pinot Noirs produced in California.
Realizing the effect of this adulation, Dan Gainey decided to acquire additional vineyard land within the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Gainey Vineyard acquired Rancho Esperanza and its 50-acres to further enhance the company’s Estate Pinot Noir program.
The key to the success of Gainey Vineyard is the impressive team that has been assembled. John Falcone is the general manager as well as the director of winemaking. He brings decades of Napa Valley experience and hands on viticulture proficiency to the Central Coast entity.
Jeff Lebard - Winemaker
Winemaker Jeff LeBard is a local (from the Santa Maria Valley) denizen who has packed 17 years of experience into his 35 years. He learned the winemaking art at such notable wineries as Fess Parker Winery, Central Coast Wine Services and Rancho Sisquoc Winery. Next he became Assistant Winemaker to iconic Mitch Constantino of Constantino Winery, considered the master of innovation in Napa Valley.
After seven profitable years, he returned to Santa Barbara County in 2007 and was hired by Gainey Vineyard for the 2007 harvest. He was immediately promoted to winemaker and has been in that role for over a decade. LeBard makes around 20 different wines from the Gainey Vineyard’s three estate vineyards.
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members
This special bottling of Sauvignon Blanc is made in a style that we have spent years perfecting, and is a wine of which we are extremely proud.
I believe that a great wine starts in the vineyard, and this wine is made from 100% Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. In order to grow fruit of intense flavor and concentration, the vines were shoot-thinned to yield smaller quantities and leaves were pulled to allow more sunlight to reach the clusters. The wine is then primarily barrel-fermented and aged in French oak for 9 months.
By having total control of the wine from vineyard to bottling, we have succeeded in producing an unusually rich and exotic Sauvignon Blanc that continues to receive critical acclaim year after year. We are proud to be included on Robert Parker’s list of ‘California’s Finest Producers of Sauvignon Blanc’” as well as being named ‘One of the Leading Sauvignon Blanc Producers in California” by Restaurant Wine Magazine.
I hope you enjoy this award-winning Sauvignon Blanc with a special meal, and I invite you to visit our winery in the Santa Ynez Valley to experience all of our handcrafted wines.
The Gainey Family ... a look into the personal side
Young Daniel C. Gainey walked into his hometown watch repair shop in Owatonna, Minnesota, and landed his first job. In the early 1900's times were a bit tough, so shop owner, Otto Josten, also sold a few pieces of jewelry to help get through the slow times.
Several years into the job, Gainey approached Josten with the idea of selling class rings to high school and college students. The idea was such a huge success, that by 1920, Dan Gainey bought Otto Josten's business. By the end of the decade, Gainey had molded Jostens Corp. into a multi-million dollar jewelry enterprise.
During the mid thirties, Gainey began to vacation in Arizona to escape the brutal Minnesota winters. There, he became involved with a group of investors who built the now famous Camelback Inn, in Scottsdale. He also began pursuing his newest interest, raising Arabian horses. He built a huge Arabian horse facility which for thirty years served also as his winter business headquarters. Due largely to Gainey's efforts, Scottsdale, today is a principal marketing center for Arabian horses.
In the 1950's Josten's Corporation set up a manufacturing plant in Summerland, California, a few miles south of Santa Barbara. It was about this time that Gainey's only child Daniel J. Gainey, entered the family business.
Daniel J. Gainey, soon became President and CEO, and guided the company through it's first public stock offering in 1961. He too, spent his winters away from Minnesota - in California. Between the vacation time and overseeing the Summerland plant, Daniel J. was spending the majority of his time in California. He enjoyed the area so much that he bought 1800 acres of ranch land in Santa Ynez, just north of Santa Barbara.
His original purpose for buying the ranch was to expand the Gainey family's Arabian horse exploits, and eventually retire there. He did both, as it turns out. The Gainey horse ranch is now one of the oldest, most respected Arabian horse breeding farms in the United States. And, of course, it's also home for perhaps the most high tech winery of its' size in the country, and the most diversified farming operation of its' kind in the Santa Ynez Valley.
When the Gaineys do something, they do it right! The wines featured this month are a testament to that statement. And now, Gainey's son, Daniel H. Gainey, has taken the reins. Joining the family business in 1986, Daniel H. has guided the winery operations to national prominence. In fact, the Gainey Vineyard has won Gold Medals with every varietal they produce. The quality is evident. Their handcrafted wines are "made to be good dinner companions," says Dan Gainey. "If Gainey Vineyard wines bring more joy to your table, we have done our job well." he adds.