Wine is in my blood. Simple as that.
As long as my cousins and I insisted on playing hide-and-seek among the precious Grand Crû Bordeaux and Première Crû Burgundy in my grandfather's wine cellar near Brussels in Belgium, my grandfather made sure that we appreciated the quality of the wines housed in our playground. We tasted the wines and we talked about them. My appreciation for wine was rooted in my grandparents' home, where wine was simply considered a wonderful beverage to be enjoyed with a meal. Growing up in Los Angeles with a Belgian father and Californian mother, wine continued to play a part in the most memorable meals at home and in our family travels. At a relatively young age, I had the privilege of sampling wines from all over the world, of learning the importance of terroir, and of recognizing the harmony that results when a certain wine and food pair perfectly.
While earning degrees in geography and economics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, my love of wine grew into a passion. I became interested in Santa Barbara's unique microclimates and their emarkable ability to produce wines with distinct character. I could ask for no finer education than working with Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Gainey Vineyards, and Central Coast Wine Services as an enologist and winemaker. I am currently the Winemaker for Summerland Winery, as well as consulting winemaker to a number of other small production wineries in Santa Barbara and Malibu counties.
Inspired by the viticultural areas of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, I gave birth to my own label, Cordon, and companion brand, The Santa Maria Winery, in 2001. My goal was - and is - to create superlative wines that are hand-crafted with modern state-of-the-art techniques and, in all respect to my European roots, a very certain old world sensibility, wines that have a true sense of place, balance, elegance, character…and, of course, wines that taste great in concert with good food.
For me, it's important to make a wine that reflects the best qualities of the grape clone, terroir and climate, rather than trying to create a wine to fit a specific market or critic's taste. True to place. True to grape. True to self.
I hope that you enjoy my wines.
À votre santé
Etienne & Gina
Theresa Noelle, Etienne & Charlotte Terlinden