Sta Rita Hills is actually within the Santa Ynez Valley appellation, although its unique soils and climate distingush the grapes grown there from the ones in the warmer vineyards to the east. A typical day in Sta Rita Hills starts with marine layer clouds and fog, which burn off by 10am; there is then two or three hours of calm sunshine until the on-shore winds pick up, cooling things down again. This maritime influence, combined with the sedimentary soils with patches of limestone is the perfect place to grow the appellation's hallmark Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The region continues to innovate with progressive farming techniques, supplying fruit used to produce highly stylized and structured wines.
The Sta. Rita Hills appellation includes about 1700 planted acres within a 10 square mile area. Located between the towns of Buellton and Lompoc, the region is bounded by the La Purisima Hills to the north and the Santa Rosa Hills to the south, and intersected by the Santa Ynez River. (www.sbcountywines.com