Santa Maria Valley AVA
The atmospheric conditions in the Santa Maria Valley and Luceánt's sandy soils combine to develop stunning character in their finished wines
In the highly competitive duel for supremacy within the core of Pinot Noir producers, one vintner might just have something of an edge over his competitors. Luceánt Wines’ Owner Kevin Law, 48, is such a person.
Law is the holder of a degree in atmospheric sciences with an emphasis on Remote Sensing and Meteorology from the University of California Santa Barbara as well as a keen interest in Geology that he has studied for many years.
“The two actually go hand in hand,” informed Law during a recent interview. “With the Pinot Noir community’s great emphasis on terroir-driven fruit, it’s quite easy to see where the rains and wind play a major role in the soil’s ability to handle the rootstock. There simply isn’t a more transparent varietal that speaks of site or terroir than the almighty Pinot Noir.”
Kevin Law became interested in wine while attending college. He managed a part-time job in an upscale wine shop where he was exposed to numerous wines from around the world. He decided on a wine industry career and began working for various wineries including Tantra Winery where he started as a cellar worker as worked his way into the assistant winemaker job.
After seven years, Kevin Law decided it was time to try it on his own and Luceánt Wines saw its first light of day. It was 2006 and Law bought the fruit from Laetitia Vineyard that was located in Arroyo Grande. He tried dealing with a number of varietals, but eventually was drawn to Pinot Noir.
“In 2010, I decided to truly devote myself to my brand by doing acreage contracts instead of tonnage,” Law went on. “This locked down exact rows for my use and also the blocks and clones used. I was also able to adjust the farming by dropping fruit to intensify flavors.”
A grand total of 70 cases of the first Luceánt Wines’ release have mushroomed into around 2,000 cases of annual production. A number of spectacular vineyards have been added to the Luceánt Wines’ portfolio, each one with distinctive characteristics.
Kevin Law had special praise for the harvest of 2012. “I felt I had a spectacular vintage in the works. Each Pinot Noir vineyard was beautifully expressive. Presqu’ile Vineyard with its base of sandy soils was the most delicate, with rose hips and a suggestion of mint. For me it was one of my favorite vintages to work with. It was so soil driven and was paired with near perfect weather conditions.”
Kevin Law doesn’t expect to increase his production since he is his company’s only employee. He feels that he can handle his present production level and continue producing extraordinary Pinot Noirs in the process.
He is totally dedicated to his adopted profession and has the high scores and medals to prove his commitment.
He summed it all thusly, “I love working with Pinot Noir. It comes with the rewards of choosing correct picking days, nurturing it along, and watching those flavors and aromatics develop beyond the barrel and a decade or more in bottle.”