Sta. Rita Hills

The Rio Vista Vineyards are located at the eastern end of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County. The appellation is relatively small - only about 100 square miles, extending about four miles west of Buellton to about two miles east of Lompoc. The Santa Rita Hills are in the center of the appellation, with vineyards lining Highway 246 to the north and other vineyards lining the Santa Ynez River valley and Santa Rosa Road to the south.


There are three Rio Vista Vineyards - the first two to be planted (in 2000) are both on the east side of Santa Rosa Road: Rio Vista Vineyard North is right against the appellation boundary as it crosses the road; Rio Vista Vineyard South is about a mile further into the appellation. The third Rio Vista Vineyard was planted in 2006 and extends west from Santa Rosa Road, surrounding the Thorne Wine headquarters.

For additional information about the Sta. Rita Hills AVA and to view a map of the appellation with all of the vineyards and wineries within its boundaries, please visit the official website of the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance.

Most of the vineyard rows run North - South with some East - West along a west-facing hillside and unfold onto the valley floor surrounding the Thorne headquarters.

The dominate soil series present are limestone, sedimentary soils and a marine layer of sandy loam.

The Pinot Noir clones planted on the estate include 777, 2A, 115, 667, 828, Pommard and Calera.

The trellising system is VSP or vertical shoot positioning.

The cover crop usually is barley, sometimes a legume and wild flowers will be used.

During harvest, the pick is determined by each Rio Vista client regarding their own block(s), and by the Thorne family when addressing their own wines.