Lionheart Wines
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McGinley Vineyard, Santa Barbara

McGinley Vineyard (formerly known as Westerly) in located in Santa Ynez's Happy Canyon area. It's warm days are tempered by a cooling maritime influence at night that ensures a long growing season that is perfect for Rhone varietals such as syrah and roussanne.


Happy Canyon occupies the southeastern perimeter of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley, a geographical niche that enjoys warmer afternoon temperatures than other areas of the valley while still benefiting from the region’s cool coastal influence. This influence is channeled by the rare east-to-west orientation of the valley’s mountain ranges, a “transverse” geography that opens up to the Pacific Ocean and invites an infusion of marine air into the valley.


The unique microclimate of Happy Canyon is paramount to the personality and character of our wines. The reciprocating effect of warm, sunny afternoons and cool, marine-moderated evenings ensures an extended growing season that encourages the maturation of finely balanced fruit, with rich flavors and excellent structure and acidity. Because Happy Canyon sees higher temperatures than other neighboring areas, it particularly excels with Bordeaux varietals that require assertive solar energy to achieve peak ripeness, as well as Rhône varietals that also thrive in such climes.


The region is comprised of ancient upland soils, primarily clay loam, riddled with cobbles of red chert and serpentine. These deposits were swept down the canyon over thousands of years, then uplifted and weathered for thousands more. The result is a shallow, low-nutrient topsoil supported by an impervious clay pan that forces the vine roots to grow laterally. In this environment, the vines are stressed for nutrients and water. Root growth and vine vigor are limited, ensuring smaller vines and low yields—a perfect combination for the development of intensely flavored grapes.

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