Fifty miles northwest of Santa Barbara, California, on a steep, south-facing cliff, a short few miles from the Pacific Ocean, Mail Road meets its end at the geographic center of The Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the historic and iconic Mt. Carmel Vineyard.
Established in 1989 – on land surrounding an under-construction monastery of cloistered, Carmelite nuns – Mt. Carmel straddles the limestone saddle of a highly-exposed, two-tiered mountain immediately north of the Santa Ynez River, at the eastern end of The Sta. Rita Hills.
The vineyard is heavily and uniquely influenced by its combination of elevation (800-1000 feet above sea level), topographical and directional aspect (steep and exposed, due south-facing) and soil composition (loose, well-drained limestone, botella clay, diatomaceous earth, calcareous deposits and sandy loam). Buffeted by strong and constant winds and dramatic variability in day/night temperatures, Mt. Carmel produces exceptional quality fruit, but at near intolerably low volumes.
Mt. Carmel consists of six blocks over a total of 22.5 acres, planted to a variety of own-rooted, organically and principally dry-farmed, heritage chardonnay and pinot noir clones.
The wines produced by Mt. Carmel fruit are remarkable in their lean toward site specificity and marked by deep concentration, exceptional depth, textural complexity and bracing acidity.
Throughout its history, Mt. Carmel has consistently produced some of The Sta. Rita Hills’ most highly coveted, vineyard designated wines.
Mt. Carmel is the exclusive purveyor to Mail Road Wines