Bill Foley began his wine career much differently than most. Others start by working at wineries and eventually making their own wines. Then they look for good vineyards to choose from and eventually start their own. Bill Foley started by buying his first winery 35 years ago. He continued to buy great wineries and finally, 20 years later, built his first in Santa Barbara County.
Foley, along with his wife, Carol Johnson, founded Foley Johnson, which became the newest member of the Top 20 Wineries in the U.S. They got to that spot faster than any other winery. It's rather impressive until you learn that Foley was a very successful finance entrepreneur who took a small mortgage company and turned it into a Fortune 500 enterprise. But, being a savvy businessman isn't the only thing Foley is good at. He understands quality and knows how to deliver it. In the case of our Foley Johnson Chardonnay, that emphasis is obvious.
Chardonnay is unquestionably the most popular white grape on earth. As a result, it can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. Of course, the area and the treatment make a huge difference. The important part is for the producer to keep the integrity of the grape intact. Foley does this by choosing the cooler Carneros region for his grapes and then aging them in French, American and Hungarian oak barrels to obtain complexity and nuance. This is what accounts for the layers of apple and pear notes matched with spice and a creamy finish. A Maine lobster can't be far away.