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Bien Nacido

Bien Nacido is a winemaker’s paradise. Offering some of the oldest Rhône plantings in California, the vineyard also boasts a diverse range of soils sprinkled across a sweeping mountainside on the eastern edge of the Santa Maria Valley. We farm Grenache from the upper blocks which are composed of the Monterey Shale of the mountain. As you move towards the lower blocks, the soil begins to mix into a collection of alluvial deposits left behind from ancient riverbeds. We are fortunate to work with the wild and wooly X Block Syrah as well as the famed higher-elevation Block 11b Syrah. Each one is distinctive in their representation of place.

Wines from Bien Nacido


Our Grenache comes from the steep southeast-facing hillside of block 39 where the mountainous Monterey Shale dominates. We employ precision cluster shaping, structured canopy management and aggressive fruit thinning to create a healthy and uniform crop. The resulting wine is both luscious and elegant, lengthy and driven.

Rating 96 - Jeb Dunnuck

“Beautiful red fruits, spice box, sandalwood and flowery incense notes all emerge from the 2020 Grenache Kissing Vipers, a medium to full-bodied, incredibly pure, balanced, seamless red from this estate that will shine for a solid decade. This is impressive.” (8/29/2022)

Spring 2023 Release

We feel a strong connection to the unique and uncharacteristic structure of this truly wild section of Syrah known as X block. The resultant wine is as unique and profound as the look of the vines. True phenolic ripeness is achieved late in the season but at very low sugar levels. A dark, structured and ripe Syrah is achieved at very low alcohol levels.

Rating 94 - Jeb Dunnuck

“A completely different beast, the 2020 Syrah X Block is more cool-climate inspired and has lots of white pepper, cedarwood, and smoked black fruits to go with a medium-bodied, focused, elegant style on the palate that brings solid tannins and outstanding length. Give it a year or two and enjoy over the following decade.” (8/29/2022)


The wine gods were really smiling upon us when we were given the opportunity to work with a section of the outrageous block 11b Syrah at Bien Nacido. This wine represents everything we love about growing and making Syrah from this famed site. It’s dark and spicy, sexy and complex with unparalleled natural acidity and ripeness.

Rating 93 - Jeb Dunnuck

“Textbook Bien Nacido Syrah, the 2020 Syrah The Shadow has ripe black and blue fruits as well as piercing black pepper, spice, and camphor nuances. It’s powerful, full-bodied, and almost over the top, yet has silky tannins and no hard edges, with a great finish. It will drink well for 7-8 years.” (8/29/2022)

The Kimsey vineyard with a blanket of fog in the distance


Duncan Harmon of Terre et Sang in the vineyard with sand coming from his hands


The rolling hills of Peake Vineyards


Dalita Harmon inspecting Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Moulds Vineyard