Change at Ambulleo Vineyards!

There is one thing for certain in life and that’s change. Your plans for life, for next year, next month, next week, next day and even the next few minutes, somehow seems to morph.  One of our greatest human strengths is our ability to adapt to change and move forward.

You’ve heard that great, age old saying about the best laid plans, well it’s true. Today, Ambullneo announces some major change that won’t make world headlines but never the less are big for little old us!

Ambullneo Vineyards is moving and we are changing our wine line up. First things first, we are moving from our current location in Santa Maria to our new location in Lompoc. This decision will undoubtedly be considered fanciful by those who have visited throughout the years. I could give you a long story as to why we choose to leave, but the facts would not support that premise. Truth is, it’s our salvation so to speak.  So we were asked to pack up after negotiations failed to produce a positive outcome (that being stay in place). We have all been through tough times in our life, especially now. In those darkest of moments we can’t see the future clearly. But after looking back you sometimes wonder why you did not do it sooner. We are at that point, we are in a new place in mind, soul, and physically. The hard part the move is over. There is some construction to be tendered and after which we will harvest on time.

Change will also come in the form of our wines. Quality has never been better.  But somehow we have managed to confuse our customers (not our intention I assure you). Ambullneo was originally set up as a cuvee producer – that’s to say we blend several vineyards together to create consistent quality. If one vineyard did not make the cut we eliminated it as well as the barrels it produced. This allowed us to always make a great Pinot or Chardonnay. Cuvees have been with us long before vineyard wines and gave me the ability to always be consistent, sometimes with great sacrifice, but in the end it’s the wine that counts. It seems however with the advent of our vineyard program we created uncertainty in the difference in quality comparing the cuvees with the vineyard wine and for this I’m sorry.

We make both wines exactly the same, same sacrifice, same quality of wood, same low yields, same, same, same! The only difference is choices, not the approach! We are not the only winery who has suffered such debate. I will use one example since more than that will be boring. The Gaja Winery, one of the greatest properties in the world, makes cuvees – in fact there world class Barbaresco is just that! They have made this wine for 150 years now and to call this wine anything but their Estate Barbaresco is an insult to the magnanimous family. Angelo Gaja started making Vineyard Wines in the 60’s not because he considered them better but because he thought them to be different. Each wine expresses itself differently, there are not better, there are only choices of flavor. It’s no different than the simple question: Fish or Chicken? Why are they more money? Glad you asked! It’s harder to make a great vineyard wine. If one vineyard has had a tougher year than its sister (something that is frequent), then you must sacrifice more fruit and barrels to achieve your quality level. However, there is little doubt that sometimes the cuvee out performs the vineyard wines.


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