Since 1982, the Laetitia Estate Vineyard & Winery has produced elegant wines that show off the exceptional character and diversity of the Arroyo Grande Valley AVA. Originally founded by an established French Champagne house, the Laetitia estate carries on in the longstanding traditions of Burgundy and Champagne with a focus on small-lot Pinot Noir and sparkling wines.
President and Winemaker, Eric Hickey, and VP of Vineyard Operations, Lino Bozzano, have cultivated a longstanding collaboration that carries Laetitia wines through from first leaf to the last bottle on the line.
Beginning his hands-on training in Laetitia’s cellar over twenty years ago, Eric Hickey has had a lot of time to discover what works best for the quality of the estate’s venerated brand. “Staying eye-to-eye with Lino is the most important part of my job,” he says, “because the interplay between us is what ultimately determines the wines’ quality. Everything done in the cellar starts with what we do out in the vineyard.”
As a third-generation farmer, Lino Bozzano intimately understands how every nuance in the field impacts the final product. “There is tremendous diversity in this small area, from the soils to the meso-climates,” says Lino. “It’s the perfect venue for understanding what site means to the wines.” Having started with Laetitia in 2004, Lino’s intimate knowledge of the 600+-acre estate includes the clonal properties, soil types and varietal composition of any given row of vines. This is particularly important for Pinot Noir, which makes up the backbone of Laetitia’s program.
While it’s impossible to name any one facet of the terroir that makes Laetitia Pinot Noir great, Lino and Eric know vineyard’s soils are essential to their wines’ complexity and breadth of style. Rolling hills comprised of volcanic pumice, sedimentary shale and rich alluvial soil contribute different characteristics to each of the 57 Pinot Noir blocks.
These different soils each show off their particular influences on the fruit. Notes of cola and earthy spice (volcanic soils) or bright, red fruit (alluvial) are complemented and augmented by carefully made clonal selections such as 667 (dark berries), 2A (sarsaparilla) and 115 (juicy red fruit) each show off their individuality.
It is the unity of purpose between Lino and Eric and synergy with the land, the fruit, and with each other that makes Laetitia the respected house it is today. “It’s partly the beauty of having consistency on the team,” says Eric, “but it’s also the beauty of estate production. We know our property and our fruit like the back of our hand. Sure, there are surprises from year to year. But in the end, no one knows better how to work with our vines than me and Lino because we’ve been doing it for so many years.”
Laetitia is a legend in California’s Central Coast and this amazing team has put together a lovely line up of sustainable wines that are sure to impress and well worth a visit to their tasting room. For more information about Laetitia Estate Vineyard & Winery please call 805.481.1772, 1.888.809.VINE, or visit www.LaetitiaWine.com. Laetitia Estate Vineyard & Winery is located at 453 Laetitia Vineyard Drive, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420.