Laetitia Winery

Laetitia Winery
453 Laetitia Vineyard Dr
Arroyo Grande, CA  93420

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Tasting Room Open Daily 11-5

Story

The first delight to greet visitors to Laetitia Vineyard & Winery is discovered along its winding drive as a beautiful panoramic view of Pismo Beach and Avila Bay unfolds. Here, just four miles from the ocean, Laetitia’s Estate Vineyards receive a thin band of fog in the morning, intense sunshine during the day, and coolness in the evening. This microclimate, coupled with extended growing seasons, high acidity and low pH, produces grapes with intense flavor and complexity. The well-drained soils yield small crops of great depth and varietal character.

First planted by French enologists and viticulturalists, Laetitia’s oldest vines provided the grapes for Méthode Champenoise sparkling wines under the Maison Deutz label. In 1997, Jean-Claude Tardivat purchased the vineyard, renaming it Laetitia after his daughter. Laetitia in Latin is an expression for joy and happiness. Just one year later, the winery was sold again to a partnership that included Selim Zilkha. In 2001, Selim and his daughter, Nadia Wellisz, became the sole proprietors.

Winemaker Dave Hickey, who started at the vineyard when it was still Maison Deutz, is celebrating his 25th harvest at the winery. He now oversees the sparkling wine production. His son, Eric Hickey, works alongside him as winemaker overseeing the production of Laetitia’s still wines. Lino Bozzano, a third generation California farmer, rounds out the team.

“We feel our role in winemaking is to maximize the distinct character of our vineyard and believe in a strong link between vineyard and winery,” explains Winemaker Dave Hickey. “Considering terroir and winemaking equally is essential in creating exceptional wine.”

The estate vineyard comprises 1,888 acres, with 620 acres currently planted to grape vines. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted varietal, followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Tempranillo, Syrah, Pinot Gris, and a small amount of Riesling. Two rare European wooden basket presses made by the esteemed Coquard Company of France—the only two of their kind in existence in the United States—ever-so-gently crush the grapes destined to become sparkling wines. Though very labor-intensive to operate, these presses deliver superior quality juice with exceptional clarity.

Laetitia believes that balanced vines make the best wine. Farming with a goal of long term sustainability and overall vine health includes vineyard practices such as shoot positioning and leaf pulling. The 2007 harvest saw a first in Laetitia estate history when a vintage was night-harvested. The cool night temperatures allow the fruit to retain its bright flavors, acids, and sugars that might otherwise be compromised in harsher daylight conditions.

“This vintage’s long cool growing season has produced grapes with bright fruit impressions and brisk acids,” Dave Hickey reports. “Stainless steel tanks house the separate clones, blocks, and varietals after pressing. They will be blended only in late winter when we begin to construct this vintage’s wine.” Dave estimates that Laetitia’s 2008 harvest will produce about 10,000 cases of sparkling wine. Laetitia offers five wine clubs including a sparkling wine club.

Visitors to Laetitia Vineyards & Winery realize the panoramic view is just the beginning, when they are treated once again to a variety of tasting options in the warm and rustic tasting room. Tasting is unhurried, unabashed, and truly unforgettable here overlooking the hills that roll out to the sea.


Laetitia Winery

Amenities

Tasting Room: No

Complimentary Tastings: No

Tastings — By Appointment Only: No

Tours: No

Tours — By Appointment Only: No

Private Tours: No

VIP & Educational Experiences: No

Exceptional Views: No

Club Member Lounge: No

Restaurant / Deli: No

Food / Wine Pairings: No

Gift Shop: No

Wedding Facilities: No

Event Facilities: No

Corp. Meetings: No

Guest House on Premises: No

Lawn Games: No

Family Friendly: No

Pet Friendly: No

Family Owned and Operated: No

Wine Cave: No

Art/Architectural Interest: No

Sustainable Practices: No

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