Started as a hobby project in 1994 by Manfred and Elaine Krankl, Sine Qua Non has come to define what can be achieved with Rhone varieties in California. Located in the Central Coast of California, the Krankls craft predominantly Grenache and Syrah that lean into the ample California sunshine without becoming tired or overripe, decadence with balance. Sine Qua Non has always been a dynamic label, never creating the same wine twice and constantly asking how the boundaries of convention can be pushed even further. The only thing that can be said to be consistent is the dedication of Krankl and his talented team to the farming and production of world class wine.
The early years saw Sine Qua Non work with vineyards up and down California, with the occasional fruit from Shea Vineyard in Oregon. The early 2000s saw the sources of fruit largely shift to Sine Qua Non’s four estate vineyards, with only Bien Nacido Vineyard still providing fruit from outside the estate program. The original focus on Grenache and Syrah remains, yet Sine Que Non now produces a myriad of wines using obscure varieties such as Petite Manseng, Touriga Nacional, Graciona and Petite Syrah.
The Sine Qua Non estate vineyards are scattered across the Central Coast to take full advantage of the amazing variation in soil and climate this relatively small area has to offer. 11 Confessions is a 33-acre vineyard in the cooler Santa Rita Hills, allowing for prolonged hang time to develop fruit of unbelievable depth and complexity. Cumulus Vineyard is located adjacent to the Sine Qua Non winemaking facility south of Santa Barbara in a relatively warmer area. Cumulus hosts many of Sine Qua Nons more experimental varieties and vineyard methodology. Cumulus is also the fruit source for Next of Kyn and aspects of Faethm wines. The Third Man Vineyard is located in a more moderate site near Los Alamos and planted own-rooted in deep sandy soils. Molly Aida Vineyard is a small high-elevation site in Tepusquet Canyon planted with bush-vine Syrah and Mourvèdre. Finally, Bien Nacido Vineyard is located in cooler Santa Maria Valley. Bien Nacido Vineyard supplied the first fruit for Sine Qua Non, and continues to provide Chardonnay in addition to a “laboratory” block of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne and Marsanne.