Kessler-Haak vineyard is located on Highway 246, 11 miles west of Buellton,CA, in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture.
As our vineyard has matured, it has become clear to us we are in one of the colder microclimates in our AVA. Frost has been a frequent visitor in the spring (at just the wrong time!) and occasionally in the fall before harvest and poses a never ending challenge.
Planted in 2005, soils in the vineyard vary from sandy to sandy loam with patches of clay loam. Seven Pinot Noir clones on three different rootstocks are planted amongst 27 acres of the vineyard's rolling hillsides. A 2.5 acre east-facing hillside was reserved for our 3 clones of Chardonnay, planted on low vigor 110R rootstock to showcase the exceptional character of cool climate Chardonnay. Yields in the vineyard are low and currently average 1.2 - 1.5 ton/acre for Pinot Noir and 1.5 - 2 ton/acre for Chardonnay.
Although we are not a certified organic vineyard, vineyard practices are strictly organic. Our farming approach strives for balance, harmony and co-existence between the vines and plant, animal and insect populations. We use no pesticides or herbicides and only organic fertilizers. Weed control is done mechanically. Pest control is done through natural predators (hawks, badgers and coyotes) and trapping.