Firestone Vineyard was founded in 1972 as Santa Barbara County’s first estate winery.
The sleek and timeless design of the winery was conceived by Richard Keith & Associates, the famed winery architects who also designed such benchmarks as Robert Mondavi Winery, Heitz Cellars and Chateau Souverain. The winery is located in the heart of the rural Santa Ynez Valley near the town of Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County. It includes a barrel cellar, fermentation cellar, crush pad and bottling line for full production from the vine to the bottle. A recently remodeled and expanded tasting room features an island bar and picture windows that overlook the estate vineyards and the Santa Ynez Valley. The winery is surrounded by 500 acres of estate vineyards.
Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley benefit from the unique east-to-west orientation of the surrounding mountain ranges. These transverse ranges open to the Pacific Ocean at their western extreme, inviting a cooling maritime influence that extends the growing season and encourages the development of exquisitely balanced and flavorful grapes.
Our estate vineyards are blessed with an alternating climate of warm sunny afternoons followed by brisk coastal evenings. Temperature swings of up to 50 degrees are normal during the summer growing season. Our location is warmer than areas to the southwest (Santa Rita Hills) and north (northern Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley), yet cooler than the eastern areas of the Santa Ynez Valley. The result is a viticultural “sweet spot” with a long growing season that ripens each estate varietal to full maturity.
Soils and Exposure
The estate vineyards occupy a series of mesas composed of gravelly loam with rocky subsoils. These well-draining soils are ideal for quality winegrowing, minimizing vine vigor and ultimately generating concentrated varietal flavors. While benefiting from a level of drainage most often associated with hillside sites, our vineyards unfold across generally level ground atop the uplifted mesas. The result is consistent sun exposure to the fruit, ensuring evenly paced ripening for excellent balance and flavor development.
The estate vineyard program is focused on achieving optimal physiological balance through aggressive canopy control, irrigation management, crop management and other methods. These methods are implemented on a varietal-specific basis, calibrated to the natural vigor and growing patterns of each varietal to ensure a steady and complete maturation of the grape. Toward this end, we have replanted 125 vineyard acres since 2001 to improve the performance of older blocks and to keep pace with the latest viticultural techniques.