Cold Heaven Cellars
Morgan Clendenen took the name for her winery from Yeats’ poem, “The Cold Heaven”. She began her wine odyssey in North Carolina, where she worked for an Italian wine importer. Eventually, she took a job in Napa, married and moved with her husband Jim to Santa Barbara County. She started with Viognier grapes, a variety that has possible origins in Bosnia, and thus established Cold Heaven Cellars in 1996.
She was attracted to Viognier because of its scarcity in the region. Those winemakers who did attempt to produce Viognier were not making a truly great product. She decided to try her hand. She studied what other winemakers were doing and realized that Viognier needs a cooler climate. Learning when to pick the grape is essential.
Ms. Clendenen uses neutral barrels, old oak that is still clean. She sources her grapes from Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, La Purisima, Le Bon Climat, Vogelzang and other vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills. She has starting producing a Syrah as well and will soon produce a Roussanne. Her goal has been to produce wines with a fresh taste even 5 years after bottling. Still, her production is small and varies between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per year. Visitors can taste Cold Heaven’s wines at its tasting room in Buellton. Stop by and taste the products of one woman’s vision to create the best cold weather wines.