Where do you recommend in Santa Barbara County? (Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Rita Hills)
If it were just me, we’d be going to the Lompoc wine ghetto to taste at Chanin, Dom. de la Cote, Tyler, Sandhi.
But my wife and friends are more into new world Pinot/Chards and we’ll be around Los Olivos. I’m sure we can find plenty to please them there (Brewer Clifton?), but…
…is there one winemaker you can recommend in the area to try that might intrigue and please a Burgundy guy, and also be fun for the friends?
I haven’t been to Santa Barbara County yet, but I’m a big fan of Paul Lato. Really exceptional Single Vineyard Chardonnay and PInot’s. Also great Grenache and Syrah…
Consummate winemaker with a tremendous amount of care and attention to the craft - but they’re a little north in Santa Maria.
If you’re willing to go to Lompoc - Domaine De La Cote. Had my first experience with them last month at a steakhouse and was surprised how much the 2020 reminded me of burgundy with an earthy quality and ripe red fruit and cherries.
Go to the wine merchant and hang out, eat and drink very well! They have a crazy good selection of all SBC wines and basically add $5 corkage (unless that’s changed). Dragonette is right there in town and could fit both sets of preferences in my view.
I have never been disappointed with Antonio and Jeni Moretti’s choices for SB pinots and white wines. Their tasting room is Taste of Santa Rita Hills in Los Olivos. They have a great variety of lessor known as well as big name winemakers, generous with their recommendations and finding good matches for your tasting profile.
Presqu’ile. We visited several years ago when they had a tasting room in Los Olivos, but they have built a large, gorgeous facility at their vineyards, Santa Maria Valley. The wines were my favorite Pinot Noir in the area by far. I am not a Burgundy guy, but have sampled many, many Oregon Pinots, and many in California, and Presqu’ile was closest to Oregon, lighter style, that I have found. They also make a Chard, a decent Syrah, and maybe some others.
If you’re looking for ambiance and a well-designed tasting room, I’d suggest Tyler. If you’re more about an intimate experience, an uber-focus on wine geekery, and a short drive, Whitcraft can’t be beat.
Also interesting. My tastes were in 2013/14, a long time ago, and maybe I was skewed by the newness to me of California Pinot, maybe different winemaking, or more likely my palate is yak like. I would like to go back there some day.
If you’re hitting Los Olivos in particular and looking for Pinot, in additon to the choices others have said, consider the following:
Storm Wines - definitely more old world in style
Dragonette - more new world than old but very well liked
And though ive only made a single vintage, you might want to give my tercero wines a try. Definitely more old world in style - 100% stem inclusion, all 4+ year old barrels, 13-13.5% alcohol, and multiple single clone bottlings from the same vineyard.
Plenty of other choices if you’re going to be outside of this specific city - let us know if you want them.
This is one of the best tasting rooms in the area IMHO as they feature many high quality library wines continuously and offer them at very reasonable prices. Plus, it’s a nice venue to taste inside/ outside and they have decent stemware.
Thank you all! These are some interesting reccs and I appreciate it.
If it were up to me, I’d head to the Lompoc wine ghetto to taste in depth…
but I am with my wife and a friend who like to drink wine, but are not up for obsessive levels of geekitude…