Nadia: Without sounding biased, the team at Laetitia is absolutely brilliant. My father, Selim Zilkha, who at 87 is as vital, smart, sensitive, curious and innovative as a businessman as he ever was, is someone who really cares for the wellbeing of his emplyees as well as the growth of our brands. He even went on Facebook in 2004, but by 2008 he'd had enough! I think we can all understand his feelings about that! Eric Hickey, our talented winemaker, grew up at Laetitia alongside his father Dave Hickey, who makes our sparkling wines, and couldn't have a better understanding of how to perfect the product due to a lifetime around the vines, grapes and wines. Lino Bozzano our visionary vineyard manager has implemented many great practices to improve our vines. These include night harvesting, Sustainable-in-Practice (SIP) certification to ensure we care about the land for the future generations, using goats for weed abatement and new types of trellising to maximize sun protection at our Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard.
VAULT29: Why did you choose the region and/or varietals?
Nadia: As I mentioned earlier, the French recognized the potential for planting Burgundian varietals on our rocky volcanic limestone soils that benefit from being in the cool Region III climate. (At Laetitia, we’re only three miles away from the ocean and the maritime fog layer sits on our land keeping it cool all morning long during the summer). Our other vineyard at Santa Barbara Highlands is at 3,200 feet in elevation, inland and is very mountainous, making it better suited to Bordeaux varietals with its hot days and cold nights. The hearty Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes there are able to withstand and thrive in the Region III climate and the short and intense growing season. We’ve really matched soil to varietal to create wines that ring true, showcasing our commitment to the region we love that’s been so good to our brand.