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Larner Vineyard and Winery

Michael Larner
February 1, 2017 | Michael Larner


n. A geologic structure lying or extending across an area, in a cross direction to other distinguishing local features. In southern California this anomaly is found in the Transverse Ranges, formed by the San Andreas Fault, beginning at Point Conception in Santa Barbara County and runs all the way into San Diego Counties. They derive the name Transverse due to their almost perfect east-west orientation, where they are in a cross direction to the general north-south orientation of most of California’s coastal mountains. In the stretch within Santa Barbara County, they are locally known as the Santa Ynez Mountains – defining the south skyline of its prestigious wine region.  

 In Geology, looking for anomalies can be rewarding and exciting, and that same inspiration can be found in winemaking when you go in another direction, almost against the grain. Hence the creation of the 2014 Transverse Syrah, a wine made from other vineyards, not our estate. A challenge to create a Syrah with as much opulence and character found from our own vineyard could only stem from selecting choice sites across this region.

Ultimately four vineyards were sourced; Coquelicot, Verna’s, Rodney’s, and Star Lane – the only common tread is that they too lay across an east-west orientation following the Santa Ynez Mountains – hence its name, Transverse. Each vineyard brings the fingerprint of its location, more pepper tones from the cooler western locations, and bright fruits and berries from the warmer eastern locations, ultimately creating a similar profile we find all encapsulated within our own estate.

Yet in typical Larner fashion this wine only deviates in origin, representing Santa Barbara County, and therefore carries a non-estate label, water colored artwork depicting a geologic outcrop representing various layers found within. A bottled testament to a cross-section of inspiration and aspiration. 


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