Located in Northern Santa Barbara County, Foxen Vineyard is a partnership between Bill Wathen and Dick Dore. They have been making wine together since 1985. Wathen is the winemaker and oversees the winery’s estate vineyard as well as the grapes they buy from other properties. Dore handles sales and marketing for the venture.
Like many wineries in Santa Maria Valley, Foxen is known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Wathen produces small amounts of single vineyard wines from both of these varietals. Bill and Dick own or buy grapes from six different vineyards. Each property produces grapes with distinctive flavor from the others. The winery produces several versions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as limited amounts of several other varietals.
Owned by the Dore Family, Tinaquaic Vineyard is Foxen’s estate property. Bill and Dick planted Chardonnay, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc in 1989. It is noted for being the only dry-farmed vineyard in Santa Maria Valley. Most local vines require irrigation, but Foxen eschews this to stress the grapevines as much as possible.
One of their excellent Chardonnays is made with grapes from the well-known Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley. Mt. Eden and Pommard clones are planted on the steepest part of the mountain at an elevation of about 1,000 feet above sea level.
Foxen also makes wine with fruit from Julia’s Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, Seasmoke Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, Williamson-Dore Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley, and Vogelzang Vineyard which is also in Santa Ynez Valley.