Chardonnay is a versatile grape. We currently have 22 planted acres of Chardonnay devoted to four clones: 108, 4, Wente and Clone 96. These clones do well in cool, Mediterranean climates like the Santa Maria Valley. We make Riverbench Chardonnay wines in a variety of styles in order to appreciate how the neutral white grape is inspired by both terroir and winemaking practices.
Our Bedrock Chardonnay is made from the well-known Clone 4 and is always fermented and aged in stainless steel. This offers the wine bright acidity and maintains bold fruit character.
Our Estate Chardonnay, like our Estate Pinot Noir, is a curated selection of blocks and barrel lots. It ages in primarily neutral oak barrels for a minimum of 9 months, which adds structure while keeping the fruit upfront.
And finally, our Chapel View and Reserve Chardonnays are selected from idiosyncratic blocks of the vineyard with exceptional soil and topographic conditions. They age in a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels for added complexity. These wines truly stand the test of time and continue to develop in the bottle for years to come.