Lompoc, Calif.—The Hilt Estate, one of Santa Barbara County’s premier wine estates and producer of JONATA and The Hilt wines, has opened its highly anticipated tasting room, The Barn at The Hilt Estate. Designed by renowned architect Howard J. Backen and Silvia Nobili of the firm Backen & Gillam Architects with interiors by Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors Design Studio, the venue will offer one of region’s most diverse lineups of wine in a space that overflows with sophisticated yet unassuming California farmhouse elegance.
Designed to highlight the agricultural foundation of The Hilt’s dramatic 3600-acre property and the wines grown and made from the unique estate, guests are encouraged to travel to The Barn along the scenic Highway 1, an open and undeveloped coastal stretch that echoes California’s unmatched natural beauty. The Hilt Estate is located just miles from the Pacific Ocean in the far south-west corner of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA winegrowing region and is comprised of three vineyards, Bentrock, Radian and Puerta del Mar. The property consists of a large tree-lined hill and vineyard extending outward. Using the natural geography of the property as a guide, the winemaking and hospitality buildings on The Hilt Estate are intentionally separated to define their uses. The winemaking production follows along the base of the hill and the hospitality barn comes out and sits among the vineyard. The new, state-of-the-art 50,000 square-foot gravity fed winemaking facility is where form and function in winemaking truly connect for long-time winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and where they will now produce the distinct wines of JONATA and The Hilt.
The reclaimed historic barn is home to the hospitality and tasting spaces and was updated using reclaimed woods and metals from the original structure. The interior speaks to the rustic beauty of the environment, with vintage textiles and leather. With wines available from two renowned estates—JONATA and The Hilt—numerous spots are available for curated tasting experiences, including a communal living room, and two themed rooms inspired by the individual wine estates. All the materials and finishes used in the hospitality barn are a direct tribute to the people of the area who have made their living off the land. The Hilt room features cool-toned artwork from Jack McConville, representative of the windy and unpredictable nature of the rugged estate. The JONATA room features warm-toned artwork from Gwen O’Neil to reflect JONATA’s warmer climate and sandy soils. The venue also features a professional kitchen, as well as numerous outdoor spaces to accommodate special events.
Several tasting flights are available, offering experiences for wine loving novices and collectors alike. Selections range from the vibrant chardonnay and pinot noir wines of The Hilt in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA to JONATA in the Ballard Canyon AVA’s portfolio of structured estate-grown blends from varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and syrah. Exclusive to The Barn, guests may also taste each of the estate’s limited, experimental and library bottlings. Those looking to experience something truly unique will have the opportunity to discover some of the The Hilt’s more avant-garde wines, ranging from Pét-Nat to Botrytis chardonnay. The wines are estate-grown via cutting edge farming and winemaking practices, and authentically express Santa Barbara County’s vines, climate and unique soils.
The Barn at The Hilt Estate will initially offer four tasting options, which are fully tailored to the guests’ preferences. Tasting fees begin at $50 per person and average $85. Upon making a reservation guests will be contacted by a knowledgeable wine expert to determine their interests and facilitate a unique and memorable wine experience.
- La Tierra “The Earth” ($50): Crafted as the perfect introduction to wines of both JONATA and The Hilt, this flight presents a selection of six of the most popular wines from both estates.
- The Point ($50): Drawing inspiration from nearby Point Conception, The Point features six wines from The Hilt that pay tribute to the profound impact of the Pacific Ocean on The Hilt’s wind-whipped estate.
- Jalama ($85): Derived from a Chumash word meaning “bundle,” the Jalama flight captures an elevated collection of seven wines from both The Hilt and the JONATA estates.
- Seven Crossings ($85): An in-depth exploration of the southwest corner of the Sta. Rita Hills, featuring seven pinot noir and chardonnay wines from The Hilt Estate.
Reservations must be booked in advance, either online or by calling (805) 564-8581. Tastings may be scheduled during one of two time slots, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
About The Hilt Estate
In 2014, The Hilt acquired the historic 3,600-acre Rancho Salsipuedes, setting the stage for the ultimate home of The Hilt Estate. Located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in northwestern Santa Barbara County, California, the property is home to three distinct vineyards: Radian and Bentrock, on the original Rancho Salsipuedes, once known as Rancho Cañada de Salsipuedes, and Puerta del Mar, which surrounds the winery. To best appreciate the wines made by The Hilt Estate, ideally one would visit these dramatic and even extreme vineyards where the grapes are farmed. Just as all great wines tell the story of their place of origin, The Hilt’s pinot noirs and chardonnays are the bold expressions of the unique estate. By employing innovative viticultural practices, selecting clones strategically, and making the most of the coastal influence, winds, and soils, Winemaker Matt Dees is pushing the vineyards to the hilt of their potential and creating wines that are lively, fresh, and well structured.
For more information on The Hilt Estate, please visit www.thehiltestate.com
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About JONATA Estate
Born in 1998 out of a desire to explore and expand world-class winegrowing in Santa Barbara County, JONATA is an estate like no other. Set amongst the rolling hills in the moderate climate of the Ballard Canyon appellation in Santa Ynez Valley, the 600-acre site is home to 84 acres of vines and over 12 grape varieties planted in Careaga sand. More than just a vineyard, most of the property is comprised of ancient oak trees, gardens, fruit orchards and diverse variety of animal life. Through years of farming the estate at the highest standards, the winery team, led by long-time winemaker Matt Dees, has tirelessly forged its own path. JONATA has gained recognition from collectors and critics alike for making captivating wines which authentically express the estate’s vines, climate and unique soils.
For more information on JONATA Estate, please visit www.jonata.com
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Hashtag: #JONATA #JONATAEstate