Santa Barbara Independent Features Gavin Chanin

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Gavin Chanin, Wine-World Wonder Boy
Young but Experienced Winemaker Perfecting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

By Matt Kettmann


…”So enamored of Chanin’s approach was Sonoma County vineyard investor Bill Price — the money behind Kistler Vineyard, Three Sticks, and Kosta Browne — that he sent Chanin grapes from his renowned Durell Vineyard in 2011. Liking the result, Price teamed with Chanin to form a new brand called Lutum, a Latin word referring to loamy soil, and those first releases, all hailing from older vines in historic vineyards, are due out this year. Said Chanin, “For someone working on pinot noir, I don’t think there could be a more compelling winery project.”

For now, Chanin expects to make about 1,500 cases of Lutum and 1,500 cases of Chanin Wine Co. each year, with any expansion related strictly to whether he can obtain premium pinot or chardonnay grapes. “We’ll probably grow as we find equal or better sources of fruit, which is not an easy thing,” said Chanin, who loves his old-vine Bien Nacido fruit (“For the style I like to make,” he divulged, “old vines are one of the secrets”) but is particularly excited about making wines from the three Sta. Rita Hills properties established by Richard Sanford: Sanford & Benedict, La Rinconada, and La Encantada. “That will be a great terroir experiment,” he explained. “They’re right next door, but they’re so different.”…