The Wines of Sine Qua Non
- Sine Qua Non (SQN) is an unusual winery in that each wine has a new name and label in each vintage.
- Even if it is the same vineyard and the same grape, it gets a new name and label.
- This makes SQN a natural candidate for the Fine Wine Geek treatment:
- The winery website
now contains some useful information and allows for online ordering!
- Some basic info about the winery can be found on
- An interesting interview with Manfred including a good background summary.
- Much more info can be found in the notes below and the pages linked to above.
- Here is an interesting
of the construction of their new winery
created by their General Contractor, Timothy J. Droney.
- Here are some very interesting and distinctive
notes from a large tasting of SQN wines.
These notes are not mine and are written in a style that some may find sexist or offensive.
Proceed with caution.
Vineyards Sources for Sine Qua Non
Most of the grapes used by SQN are sourced from vineyards in Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara County has 3 special viticultural areas where SQN has sourced grapes:
Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Rita Hills.
The estate vineyards of Sine Qua Non:
- Eleven (11) Confessions Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills AVA.
- 22 acres: 10 acres of Syrah, 8 acres of Grenache, 3 acres of Roussanne, 1 acre of Viognier.
- This was their first estate vineyard and began producing in 2001.
- It has been the primary source for the EBA wines starting with
the 2003 Inaugural Grenache and
- Cumulus Vineyard, Oak View, CA.
- Located in Oak View, CA, near Ventura.
- This is referred to as their "home" vineyard because it is where the Krankls live.
- A 6-acre vineyard: 2.5 acres of Syrah, 2.5 of Grenache, 1 of Roussanne, with another acre of Viognier nearby.
- Used to produce Next of Kyn wines starting with the 2007 vintage.
- Very tight vine spacing (even tighter than Eleven Confessions) 5.5 ft. X 2 ft.,
resulting in a whopping 3,960 vines per acre or 9,785 vines per hectare.
- Here's a
video all about the Cumulus Vineyard.
- Third Twin Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA.
- This vineyard is on Alisos Canyon Road near the town of Los Alamos.
- It was purchased in 2010.
- It is planted with Syrah and Petite Sirah on original root stock in sandy soil.
- Molly Aïda Vineyard in Tepusquet Canyon.
- Two acres of Mourvedre.
- Planted in 2012, as of 2014, it is not producing wine grapes yet.
SQN has sourced grapes from several other vineyards in the past:
- Alban Vineyard, Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo County.
- Alta Mesa Vineyard, Cuyama Valley, Santa Barbara County.
- Arita Hills Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills.
- A source of Pinot Noir for SQN and several other wineries.
- Babcock Vineyard, Santa Barbara County.
- Beckmen Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
- Owned by Tom and Steve Beckmen as part of
- Also known as Purisima Mountain Vineyard.
- More details, including a map, can be
- Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley.
- Part of Rancho Tepusquet which is owned by the Miller family.
- Brander Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
- Mostly used as a source of Sémillon grapes for Mr. K Strawman and other Vin de Paille style sweet wines.
- Owned by C. Frederic "Fred" Brander.
- Shadow Canyon Vineyard, York Mountain AVA, San Luis Obispo.
- Shea Vineyard, Yamhill County, Oregon.
- Stolpman Vineyard, Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County.
- White Hawk Vineyard, Los Alamos Hills, Santa Barbara County.
Other Info and Links
- One of my starting points for these charts is
this page on Eric LeVine's
Eric's starting point for his list was a list of wines emailed to him by Manfred Krankl as
Eric explains here on the
CellarTracker! Users Forum.
- Grape Radio audio
interview with Manfred Krankl.
- The Source at
the The Winery Channel
has a series of 4 videos interviews with Manfred Krankl (from 2007).
then click on Episodes 27 – 30 on the right.
These are also available on YouTube:
- Episode 27:
A Labor of Love (background and history).
- Episode 28:
From Winery to Glass (the winemaking process).
- Episode 29:
Home Ranch, Cumulous[sic] Vineyard (all about their Cumulus Vineyard;
Elaine makes an appearance).
- Episode 30:
What Makes a Great Wine? (Thoughts on wine and winemaking;
Not available on YouTube).
- Several similar videos were made by the
- According to this
article in Forbes,
the name Sine Qua Non is
... Latin for something essential (literally 'without which nothing').
[Manfred] Krankl claims not to remember how, or why, he and wife Elaine came up with it.
(They pronounce it 'sinny-kwah-non.')
- Article about SQN
in the December 2007 issue of Ventana Magazine by Matt Kettmann.
If it's daring,
he'll cork it, David Shaw, Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2003.
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All original content © Ken Vastola