L’Avion (the airplane) is a Rousanne-based wine with a small amount of Viognier blended into the finished wine to improve balance and aromatic complexity. The Rousanne vines are planted in a long, narrow piece of land running through the middle of the estate, the level topography of which helps to even the ripening of the grapes. At one time, this area was the old landing strip for the Santa Ynez Valley, which is the inspiration for the name L’Avion. The 'lofty' aim in producing this wine was to concoct a white with concentration, freshness, subtly and finesse; to achieve this goal the focus was on harvesting the fruit at precisely the right moment. Even though the Rousanne vineyard was developed in an area that encourages a more even maturation of the grapes, these grapes still struggle to ripen evenly. In 2004, it required five passes to complete the harvest for L’Avion. Only the ripe, golden clusters were selected during each pass, and any damaged berries were meticulously removed, one by one, to ensure the freshest flavors possible in the finished wine. The goal was achieved... and then some!
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