by Fred McMillin
for June 18, 1998
A Seco Rarin' to Go
The Arroyo Seco wine district is a triangular area named after the Arroyo Seco Creek, a tributary of the Salinas River. Located on the west side of the river, the district's topography and soil distinguish it from surrounding areas. The entire, gravelly region slopes for several miles, providing good water drainage and excellent root penetration.
...Prof. John Baxevanis, Wine Regions of America
The vines in our Arroyo Seco vineyard, Ste. Philippe, are over 20 years old, and grow on their own roots. They have produced some of the best lots that we have blended into our Chardonnay through the years.
...Winemaker Art Nathan
The Rest of the Story
Of course, Art would have loved to produce a wine solely from those exceptional Ste. Philippe grapes, but there weren't enough to make even 500 cases. It would be a masterpiece. Then, two years ago, the winery decided to do just that. So Art hand-tooled the entire process, even purchasing 18 specially-coopered French oak barrels for the batch, etc.
1996 Masterpiece Edition Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco
We mentioned that the Arroyo Seco ("dried up little stream") Creek drains into the remarkable Salinas River...remarkable because it is the largest underground river in the world.
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