SOURCE: Byron Winery

November 14, 2016 13:37 ET

With New Wines and a New Look Santa Barbara's Iconic Byron Winery Goes Back to its Roots

Returns to Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir Focus with New Releases from Top Santa Barbara Sites, Including Their Own Historic Estate Vineyard

SANTA MARIA, CA--(Marketwired - November 14, 2016) - One of Santa Barbara's pioneering wineries and home to the region's oldest commercial vineyard, Byron Winery is looking to the future with a nod to the past. With the introduction of their newest wines and dramatic new label, the winery returns to its single-vineyard Pinot Noir focus in an exclusive portfolio of site-specific wines that explore the individual expression of Santa Barbara's most exciting vineyards in both Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley, including the winery's own Nielson Estate. The new 2014 vintage wines, which can be purchased through the winery beginning this month, for delivery in March 2017, include: John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir, Rita's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir and La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir, (Sta. Rita Hills) and Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Noir, Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir, Monument Pinot Noir, Nielson Vineyard Chardonnay and Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley).

No one is happier about Byron's return to its single-vineyard Pinot Noir roots than winemaker Jonathan Nagy who was originally hired and mentored by winery founder Byron Kent Brown. "Getting to cherry pick from the region's top vineyards, and further to select my favorite clones and rows within those vineyards, in order to produce the best Pinot Noir I can" says Nagy, "that's a winemaker's dream."

The shift in winemaking focus follows a number of years that saw Byron expand its offerings to include larger volume, appellation blends in response to the growing demand for more popularly priced and approachable wines. Although incredibly popular, these wines were ultimately not consistent with Byron's original boutique positioning and single-vineyard focus. In 2015, the appellation wines were spun off under the new Nielson label, allowing Nagy to concentrate on the artisan winemaking and small, site-specific Pinot Noir bottlings that are Byron's hallmark.

About Byron: Founded in 1984 by winemaker Byron Kent Brown, Byron Wines is among Santa Barbara's pioneering wineries and the site the region's oldest commercial vineyard, planted in 1964 by Uriel Nielson. The cool-climate benchland site has served as a model for Santa Barbara's viticultural experimentation and sustainable farming methods. In 2006, Byron Winery was acquired by Jackson Family Wines as part of their investment in top vineyard estates and appellations. Today, winemaker Jonathan Nagy, who joined the winery in 2001 and trained under Brown, focuses the winery's production on small, single-site bottlings from Santa Barbara's most coveted vineyards, including Julia's Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyard, John Sebastiano Vineyard, Rita's Crown Vineyard and the winery's own sustainably-farmed Nielson Vineyard. Byron's allocated portfolio of artisan wines, priced from $40 to $65/bottle, are offered directly to consumers through the winery's mailing list, website and tasting room, which is located in historic downtown Los Olivos. A small quantity is offered through distribution in select restaurants and wine shops. The winery and vineyard are not open to the public.

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