Because of the ideal conditions in Monterey to grow a variety of high quality wine grapes, Lockwood Vineyard is able to produce some of the most sought after varietalsto please anyone’s palate.
Grapes grown for Lockwood Vineyard wines are 100% estate grown, giving us the best expression of aromas and flavors exclusive to Monterey. Located within California’s Central Coast, Monterey County runs from the Monterey Bay into the Santa Lucia and Gabilan mountain ranges. Early in the morning the entire region is cool and largely covered by a thick marine layer. As the sun rises, the valley warms and the heat burns off the dense fog.
Cool air off the Pacific Ocean is drawn in and funneled through the Gabilan and Santa Lucia mountain ranges, moving down the valley with increasing force as the day progresses. The ocean air acts as a natural air conditioning system that mitigates the rise in temperature and extends the growing season, allowing for slow, gentle ripening, intense flavors, and optimal sugar-to-acid balance.
Lockwood’s San Lucas Vineyard was planted in 1981 by three partners who have cumulative vineyard management experience of over 90 years. With their expertise, they concluded that this remote area nestled at the base of the Santa Lucia mountain range, in Monterey County was perfect for growing premium grapes and they developed one of the largest premium estate vineyards in the world. What makes San Lucas Vineyard especially unique is its proximity to the Monterey Bay and warmer weather to the south, where the vineyard’s climate experiences drastic changes throughout the day—mornings of 50°F and midday temperatures of 110°F.
The grapes grown for Lockwood Vineyard wines are selected only from specific, vigilantly maintained, and thoroughly analyzed blocks within the expansive San Lucas Vineyard. By thoroughly examining each micro-climate, and corresponding soil profile, then evaluating various combinations of varietals, clonal selections and root stocks, we are able to choose the best Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec plantings in the vineyard. Row direction, solar exposure and wind influence are also major contributing factors of consideration.
After defining our blocks, we implement viticultural protocols tailored to suit each vine’s set of unique characteristics. Pruning strategies, shoot thinning practices, leaf removal techniques, and specified crop levels are assigned to optimize quality. Continuous monitoring of soil moisture and fertility helps ensure vine balance throughout each season and come autumn, frequent maturity sampling allows us to pin-point desired ripeness and we selectively harvest each block.
Lockwood Vineyard’s Darin Kinzie grew up on a vineyard where wine was always a part of his life. In 2001, a deeper curiosity led him to his first harvest at Gallo of Sonoma and it was there in the cellar during 2002 where an even greater love for wine developed.
An explorer and adventurer at heart, Darin moved to Adelaide, Australia in 2003 where he chose to study enology and viticulture at the University of Adelaide. While attending school, he worked in the vineyards of McLaren Vale, combining hands-on experience with his educational studies at the university.
Darin joined St. Hallett in the Barossa Valley in 2006 and he took a couple of trips home to California to work harvests at Williams Selyem and Peay Vineyards. These experiences reinforced his belief in terroir and his love for cool climate California wines and he now embodies forward-thinking, experimental and quality-driven, attributes in his own winemaking philosophy.