Project Description

2019 Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Chardonnay

Santa Rita Hills AVA

Tasting Notes

Medium yellow hue. Brilliant scents of passionfruit, guava, apricot, kiwi, and vanilla bean. With some air, secondary notes of peach and ripe pear seep out. Once on the palate, these characters remain and build in intensity. The texture of this wine is yummy with a slight tension and vibrancy to give it some liveliness. It finishes with persistence and a complex experience. Enjoy now through 2031.”

~Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking
February 2021

Sold Out

“Our favorite of the Testarossa Chardonnays, the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is a standout with its depth and precision. Lemon citrus and stone fruit notes are accompanied by a floral, honeysuckle-like component on an admirably concentrated, deeply flavored, silky palate. Showing refinement and balance, the wine reveals deft winemaking as well as exceptional terroir. Sourced from the historic, northern facing Sanford & Benedict Vineyard at 400′ elevation. This historic vineyard was planted by Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict in 1971 in siliceous gravel covering deep, well-drained soils and a relatively high water table fed by springs located in the hills behind the vineyards and winery, thus permitting dry farming. Matured 15 months in 46% new French oak.”

International Wine Review
October 2021

Production Data

Growers: Terlato Family
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills AVA
Elevation/Exposure: 300 – 400 feet; East
Soil: White, rocky fractured sandstone & loam, with some clay in subsoil
Vineyard Age: 32 years
Viticulture Practice: 
Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW)
Vinification: Pressed Whole-cluster, fermented in French Oak
Cooperage & Ageing: 15 months in 100% French Oak, 46% new
Production:  13 barrels
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Acidity: 3.24 pH, 7.23 TA (g/L)
Alcohol: 14.3%
Harvest:  October 17, 2019
Club Release: April 2021
Release Price: $53

Drink Now through 2031

Past Vintage Wine Scores

“Bright nose, tangy and neatly structured, racy and showing juicy acidity; silky and fresh with toasty oak notes; long and balanced.”

Anthony Dias Blue
March 2020

“Classic lemon curd, pineapple, and white flower notes emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. (This vineyard always seems to yield a more Chablis-like aromatic style.) Brought up in 54% new French oak, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a rounded, sexy texture, plenty of fruit, and a great finish.”

Jeb Dunnuck
October 2019

“Brioche, pineapple and ripe melon aromas make for a creamy nose on this bottling from the vineyard’s historic old vines that were planted in 1971. The palate zips with acidity, carrying flavors of lemon sorbet and sea salt. It’s very taut and tense throughout.”

Matt Kettman
Wine Enthusiast
November 2019

The Sanford & Benedict Vineyard

Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation is now back at Testarossa! Our first vintage from this outstanding vineyard was in 2004 when it was still under the guidance of famed Richard Sanford, pioneer of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. In 2007 the Terlato family took ownership of the vineyard, making it one of several of their grape-growing properties including La Rinconada Vineyard just next door.  Testarossa currently receives 6 of 16 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 of 28 acres of Chardonnay produced from Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. This beautiful vineyard sits at just about 400 feet in elevation with a northern exposure, just southeast of Lompoc. The soil consists of well-drained gravelly loam mixed with clay and fragmented chert.

The area is situated near an unusual valley perpendicular to the coast that allows funneled winds between the mountains and the sea that is ideal for growing cool-climate varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Past Vintages

Wine Production Data

Tasting Notes

“Medium yellow hue. Enticing scents of mango, pineapple, papaya leap out of the glass and are followed by hints of peach, pear, and molasses. As the wine teases the palate, it offers concentrated notes of pineapple, grapefruit, and mango. These brisk elements offer zesty acidity yet polished tannin and textural complexity. This wine finishes true to form, with an edgy, dense, and complex package. Enjoy now through 2028.”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Terlato Family
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills AVA
Barrel Aging:  15 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 50% new
Production:  14 barrels
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Acidity: 7.1 TA (g/L) – 3.22 pH
Alcohol: 14.3%
Harvest:  October 10, 2018
Club Release: April 2020

Drink Now through 2028

Tasting Notes

“Medium yellow hue. Refreshing aromas of banana, pineapple, coconut, and brioche of which are followed by scents of crème brulee, apple, and fig. Upon taste, the hedonistic aroma profile intensifies the apple and fig notes along with a touch of oak spice. While the texture is luscious and dense, the modest acidity maintains purity. This wine finishes with a deep, long, and unctuous experience. Enjoy now through 2028.”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Terlato Family
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills AVA
Barrel Aging:  17 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 54% new
Production:  13 barrels
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Acidity: 5.83 g/L – 3.37 pH
Alcohol: 14.2%
Harvest:  September 19, 2019 & October 7, 2019
Club Release: June 2019

Drink Now through 2028

Tasting Notes

“Straw hue. Inviting scents of coconut, mango, crème brulee, fig, and kiwi unite in this lovely offering from the Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. With some air, notes of pineapple and passionfruit rise out of the glass as well. Upon taste these pleasing qualities grow in depth and enjoyment. The unctuous and layered palate continues to gain intensity on a lively and mineral-laden finish. Enjoy now through 2025.”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Terlato Family
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: Sta. Rita Hills AVA
Barrel Aging: 14 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 33% new
Production: 14 barrels
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Acidity: 7.67 g/L – 3.15 pH
Alcohol: 14.2%
Harvest: September 13, 2016
Club Release: June 2018

Drink Now through 2025

WEATHER HOLD ADVISORY: Please note that due to the fragile nature of wine and the impending winter/summer season, we are unable to ship wines to states whose temperatures have dropped below 32  / risen above 90 degrees on average. Orders will be kept in our temperature controlled cellar until more moderate temperatures are reached. If you feel your area might be impacted, please contact us at to inquire about shipping options.

Stay in contact and receive the latest news about Testarossa Winery