Whitcraft Winery

Owner(s) Chris Whitcraft
Web site www.whitcraftwinery.com
Link to this site
Whitcraft Winery

Chris Whitcraft has been making Pinot Noir for what seems like an eternity (1985). He developed an interest in wine working for several southern California liquor stores. In the 1990s, Whitcraft lived in a camper during harvest behind the Hitching Post II Restaurant and spent a number of evenings in the bar watching sports and drinking wine with Frank Ostini. He talked to Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways on a number of occasions. He had his own daily radio show called "The Wine Show" from 1978 to 1989.

Chris started with sparkling wine and Chardonnay, unhappy with early attempts at Pinot Noir because of the way grapes were grown. He started making Pinot Noir in earnest in 1990 and now the majority of his production is Pinot Noir.

Now based in Santa Barbara, he is a very small producer (2,000 cases) of Pinot Noir and occasionally other varietals. His major sources for Pinot Noir recently have been Bien Nacido Vineyard, Pence Ranch and Burt Williams' Morning Dew Ranch Vineyard in Anderson Valley. Chris's son, Drake, assists in the winemaking. The winery is an industrial building in downtown Santa Barbara.

In June, 2014, Chris passed away.

The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list. Tasting room at 36A S. Calle Cesar Chavez in Santa Barbara is open Friday through Monday and other days by appointment.

Reviewed Wines

2009 Whitcraft Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. Chris Whitcraft first produced a Pinot Noir from Burt’s vineyard in 2004. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose is very funky replete with hospital bandage aroma. Very ripe fruited, even compotey in a full-bodied style featuring blackberry fruit flavor. Off bottle. Reviewed December 17, 2019 ARTICLE »

2005 Whitcraft Winery Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.4% alc., $50. · Unusual aromatics but some recognizable ripe crushed berries, musk, and floral elements. Sappy dark fruits including wild blackberries surface with a soapy, floral, and sour overtone. Way too much tannin and far too tart on the finish. A strange wine that defies description. Probably a bad bottle. Reviewed June 9, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Whitcraft Winery Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.4% alc., $50. Unfined and unfiltered. · One look at the very dark reddish-purple color in the glass and you know what’s coming. Intense and powerful aromas of blackberries, plums and cardamon spice. A muscular wine with a full on load of dense, deep, thick and almost jammy well-spiced dark fruits. A quirky wine with a big booty that packs in plenty of flavor without the heat. Over the top for me. Decent. Reviewed March 12, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 Whitcraft Winery Aubaine Vineyard San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

15.1% alc.. · Deep, dark purple color in the glass. Bright roasted dark stone fruits with oak char in the background. Dense, bold and muscular with a sweetness coming from the alcohol. Thick, grainy tannins with a chemical note appearing in the aftertaste. Very little to recommend here. Unsatisfactory. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 Whitcraft Winery Aubaine Vineyard San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir

15.1% alc.. · Deeply colored. Bright dark roasted fruits with noticeable oak char on the nose. In the mouth the wine is packed with dense dark stone fruits with some sweetness evident from the alcohol. Thick and chewy with bold tannins and a grainy texture. An off-putting chemical note brings up the aftertaste. Unsatisfactory. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 Whitcraft Winery Morning Dew Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $48. · A terrific nose of cherry compote, spice and cola with an Anderson Valley acid kick at the end. The nose is a dead ringer for some of the great early 90s Pinots of Williams Selyem. Rich with earth-kissed cherry flavor. Reviewed February 12, 2006 ARTICLE »

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