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Bio



D E M E T R I A

 

 

An exploration into our our world.  

Our land, our family, our wines.

 

 

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Bio



D E M E T R I A

 

 

An exploration into our our world.  

Our land, our family, our wines.

 

 

 

This idyllic setting captivated John Zahoudanis when searching for vineyard property in 2005.  He had grown up on a farm near Mounty Olympus in Greece, where his family cultivated olives, citrus, and a small plot of grapes used to make wine for themselves.  John and wife Sandra purchased the estate and named it after their daughter Demetria, and the Greek goddess of harvest Demeter.

Today Demetria is still very much a family operation. John and Sandra’s son, Alexis, has lived and worked on the estate full-time since 2009.  He works closely with winemaker Harry Waye, who also oversees the vineyard – one of the first in Santa Barbara County to be farmed biodynamically – with forty-six planted to Rhone varietals, five white and five red.  Demetria also makes Burgundian-style wines, sourcing organic Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris grapes from trusted vineyards in cooler California appellations.

 
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Biodynamic farming practices.

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Biodynamic farming practices.

Growing up in Adelaide, Australia, Harry was always surrounded by the vineyards throughout the South Australian wine regions of Barossa, Claire and McLaren Vale.  Following his new-found love (now wife) to California in the mid 2000s, Harry “fell into” the central coast wine industry.

In 2011, Harry was rewarded the head winemaker position, as well as the vineyard operations manager.  Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Michael Roth, Harry is continuing the approach of low alcohol, balanced acidity and detailed care of the vineyard.  Harry has embraced the challenge of creating wines that are complex, while being food friendly and approachable, not just for the connoisseur, but for the everyday wine lover that lives in all of us.

Harry continuously produces wines scoring over 90+ points and has been awarded the highest score given on a California Rosé by both The Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits Magazine.  His passion, diligence and love for the wines shows in his beautiffly crafted, complex wines.

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The ability to work in concert with the vines’ rythmic cycle allows our winemaking vision to come to fruition.

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The ability to work in concert with the vines’ rythmic cycle allows our winemaking vision to come to fruition.

We produce two distinct portfolios of wines based upon the exceptional, ideally situated growing regions of the Central Coast.  Our property consists of 213 acres of rolling hills with 38 high elevation hillside acres currently under vine.   Biodynamically grown Rhone-style wines from our Estate in the Santa Ynez Valley and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sourced from some of the best vineyards located in both the Santa Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley AVAs. 

We believe that low yields, sustainable and biodynamic farming practices, and gentle winemaking produce wines of exceptional quality.  The process of Biodynamic farming is guided by Philippe Armenier, formerly of Domaine Marcoux in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

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Ranging from 1100 feet to 1450 feet above sea level, our vineyard is one of the highest in the appellation.

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Ranging from 1100 feet to 1450 feet above sea level, our vineyard is one of the highest in the appellation.

APPELLATION.  Santa Ynez Valley

ELEVATION.  Ranging from 1100 feet to 1450 feet above sea level.  Our vineyard is one of the highest in the appellation.

PLANTED.  Exclusively to Rhone varietals beginning in 1990.  

HILLSIDES & EXPOSURE.  All our vineyards are located on steep, north facing hillsides.

BIODYNAMIC.  Farmed biodynamically since our purchase in 2005. Philippe Armenier, formerly of Domaine de Marcoux in the Rhone is our consultant.

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High quality, low yield grape harvests.

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High quality, low yield grape harvests.

For every journey, there is a first step. Each year this begins with the nourishment of the soil, which precedes the growth of exceptional grapes.  Inspired by the holistic stewardship and environmental reverence of the philosophy, we began farming our Estate property by Biodynamic principles in 2005.

Biodynamic farming is based on the philosophy that our entire property is a living organism.  We use no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (much like organic farming), and, in addition, we farm by the phases of the planets and the moon and treat our vineyards with various preparations to promote health and vitality in the soil, plants, and animals.  One key goal of the philosophy is to reduce our dependence on imported inputs of all types and increase the living dynamics of the entire farm: just as minimal handling in the cellar promotes a purity of expression in our wine, so too does this deeply traditional form of agriculture.