I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dan Lokteff, owner of Wrights Station Vineyard and Winery. Dan has had a long history of winemaking in the Santa Cruz Mountains with wineries such as Storrs Winery and Downhill Cellars. His goal was to first get his feet wet working at other wineries before establishing the dream of owning his own.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when visiting this new winery. My vision was that it would look like many of the typical “start up” wineries in the area, expecting something very rustic with the old world charm of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I was pleasantly surprised when arriving to see a beautiful vineyard that obviously had a long history, and a beautiful building for tasting.
Walking around the site, I found a charming terrace with an extensive view of the vineyards surrounding, and a great place to sit with a glass of wine or play bocce ball with friends. As a previous event planner, my first thought was how amazing it would be to have an event at this location. Although my brain was spinning with ideas, Dan informed me this was not a current goal of the winery.
When I walked into the elegant tasting room, Dan himself greeted me and we walked through a tasting of his current vintages.
2010 Chardonnay – very nice every day chardonnay with hints of citrus and apple
2010 Reserve Chardonnay – new oak with more tropical flavors
2010 Pinot Noir, Far Away Block –fruit forward yet still earthy, lovely and well balanced. This wine is produced from vines grafted over from Chardonnay, 2000-2001
2010 Reserve Pinot Noir, Cave Block – French oak, very well balanced wine with dark cherry, plum and figs. A rich Pinot Noir
2010 Cabernet, Bates Ranch – nice Cabernet that will only get better with age
During my tasting, Dan explained the history of the vineyard. It was originally known as “Dirk Vineyard” (after owner Dirk Reed), then changed to “Quenneville” when the family purchased the property. Over the years I’ve heard of this vineyard as a source of fruit for other wineries, including Villa Del Monte, Storrs, Cinnabar, Byington, Thomas Fogarty and others.
The vineyard was planted in 1983 with Chardonnay. The clones planted were clone 4 (Wente Clone) and the Mt Eden Clone. During the early years the property also served as an Equestrian Center. In 2000-2001, much of that area was planted with Pinot Noir and some of the Chardonnay also grafted over to Pinot Noir. In 2009 Dan Lokteff bought the vineyard and started restoring the old buildings. The tasting room is located in the house on the property built in 1947, with many additions over the years. Dan put the winery building in the location of the barn that was used for the former Equestrian Center.
Currently the winery has between 6-7 acres planted with 2/3rds Chardonnay and 1/3 Pinot Noir.
We are excited to include a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Wright Station in our upcoming September Shipment. Join now to receive your shipment! I look forward to future vintages with this winery under Dan’s guidance.
Shannon worked as the Director of Operations for the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrower’s Association for approximately 13 years. Shannon has brought wine events of all kinds to the area in an effort to excite interest in the local wines and food. She loves watching people from all over enjoying the region’s wine and witnessing the local vintners businesses grow and prosper.