The Santa Cruz Mountains’ newest winery.
• By Shannon Flynn •
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.
Beautiful Vineyards and Tasting Room
I wasn’t sure what to expect when visiting this new winery, which opened in June, 2014. 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.
The Wines of Wrights Station
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 – A nice Cabernet that will only get better with age.
Wrights Station’s Vineyard History
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.
Dan Lokteff Purchases His Dream Vineyard
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 six and seven acres planted with two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir.
The brand-new tasting room is open Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. and is located off of highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 24250 Loma Prieta Avenue (off Summit Road past Burrell School), in Los Gatos. For more information visit their website at www.wrightsstation.com or call 408-560-9343.
Shannon Flynn is the owner/operator of the Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains. For more information and to join the club, visit their website at www.wineclubsantacruzmountains.com
Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains is excited to include a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Wright Station in their September Shipment. Join now to receive this shipment!