Located on the very cool western side of Santa Rita Hills, Fe Ciega Vineyard (Spanish for blind faith) consistently produces profound pinot noir. I don’t like to say I have favorites, but this vineyard is dear to my heart. With a fabulously complex aroma, dark color, and a huge impactful flavor, this wine is never shy. The difficulty making Fe Ciega has not been how to extract enough character from the grapes, but, instead how to fashion a wine of elegance. It’s not entirely a bad thing to have grapes with too much character; it’s much easier to chisel away at the excess than to create more out of nothing. None-the-less it requires an attitudinal adjustment to realize that more is not always better, and I found that concept a stumbling block for decades. I always assumed that the winemaker should extract every last bit of character from the grapes, and to do less was a disservice to the vineyard. However, I can see now that extracting just the right amount enables a wine to be more harmonious and expressive.