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Tag Archives for " central coast "

Zaca Mesa Winery Santa Barbara County

A fairly long-established property for Santa Barbara with a focus on the Rhône varieties. The exception to the Rhône theme is a Chardonnay very much in the tropical-fruit style. It has the malolactic blocked for freshness and gains some complexity from the addition of a touch of Viognier and Roussanne. The varietal Viognier offers simple, […]

Westerly Vineyards Santa Maria Valley

Some impressive wines are produced here, particularly from the Bordeaux red varieties. The vineyards are located in the newly established Happy Canyon AVA, notable for success with the Bordeaux grapes. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are sourced from the cooler Sta. Rita Hills. The Sauvignon Blanc, which includes a little Sémillon, is vinified in stainless steel […]

Villa Creek Cellars Paso Robles

Warehouse operation run by restaurateur Cris Cherry. The wines are the epitome of modern, fleshy, vibrant Paso Robles reds and are undoubtedly among the best and most exciting reds in an already exciting region. The fact that they are extremely affordable is another great bonus. The Avenger and Willow Creek red are both Rhône blends, […]

Tobin James Cellars Paso Robles

This sizeable Paso Robles operation produces an extensive but exemplary range of wines at all price levels. There is also a sense of fun, with the wines which all have tongue in cheek brand names, many relating to less than lawful characters from the old American West. The winery is built on the site of […]

Terre Rouge & Easton Wines Amador County

Bill Easton was one of the very first Rhône Rangers, along with the likes of Randall Grahm at BONNY DOON. Today he produces Rhône styles under the Terre Rouge label, while his Easton label supplies good fruit-driven, spicy Barbera and more serious Zinfandel as well as H House, (a soft easy blend of Cabernet and […]

Tercero Wines Santa Barbara County

Larry Schaffer is the oenologist at Fess PARKER Vineyards but finds a little time to do his own thing as well. Specialising in Rhône red and white varietals, he also produces a notable Gewürztraminer, The Outlier. With typical lychee aromas, one would expect a much sweeter wine than the full, unctuous dry style produced here. […]

Talley Vineyards Arroyo Grande

First-class estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are made here using sustainable farming practices at this family owned winery. The Rosemary and Rincon vineyards have tremendous potential and as yet are still relatively young. Both are capable at times of providing wines of 5-star quality. Pinot Noir is produced from very low yields and wild yeasts […]

Robert Talbott Vineyards Monterey County

Small operation with vineyard resources in the Salinas Foothills and Santa Lucia Mountains. There are four regular Chardonnays, Kali-Hart, Logan, Sleepy Hollow and the pricier Diamond T Estate, which is a marvellously stylish cool-climate example, delivering very fine fruit from low yields with very well judged, fine-grained oak and a rich leesy complexity. It is […]

Summer Wood Winery Paso Robles

This relatively small winery includes a luxurious four star small guest house on its Paso Robles Westside estate which would make a good base for exploring the area. The vast majority of the winery’s output is sold through the tasting room and via their mailing list. Rhône styles are particularly exciting here and include both […]

Sanford Winery Sta. Rita Hills

Located in the cool Sta. Rita Hills, Sanford produces good to very good Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Richard Sanford has now sold his interest so it remains to be seen how quality will emerge in the longer term. One of the key assets here is the great Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, from which a number […]

Rusack Vineyards Santa Ynez Valley

The Rusacks produce a good small range of reds and whites from across Santa Barbara County. As well as the three main varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah they also produce Sauvignon Blanc, a Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc called Anacapa, Zinfandel and Sangiovese, all from Santa Ynez fruit. Then there’s a […]

Rosenblum Cellars Alameda

The Rosenblum warehouse winery is located in the San Francisco Bay area in central Alameda. The main focus here is on Zinfandel and very good it is too. Even in a difficult years the wines stand out for their intensity, purity and depth and the top examples show really splendid complexity. Numerous bottlings are sourced […]

Renwood Winery Amador County

The Italian and Rhône-style wines here are all impressive but it is the great Zinfandels from old bush vines that really stand out. Renwood’s vineyards are planted at altitude, generally well over 300m (1,000ft) above sea level, and the warm days and cool summer evenings enable good structure and acidity to be built up in […]

Rancho Sisquoc Winery

This is a relatively long-established name in Santa Barbara County among a plethora of new and emerging producers. Some 130 ha (320 acres) of vineyard are now planted on the vast 15,000 ha (37,000 acre) Flood ranch. From a fairly extensive range, the Bordeaux varieties particularly stand out. The vineyards are among the warmer sites […]

Quady Winery Madera County

Fortified- and sweet-wine specialist based in the arid Central Valley. Red Starboard is a port style produced from Amador County Zinfandel while the whites are produced from Muscat: Essencia from Orange Muscat and Elysium from Black Muscat. These are good, well-crafted examples if lacking the richness and finesse of the very best European and Australian […]

Peachy Canyon Winery Paso Robles

Long established Zinfandel specialist on the Central Coast with a range dominated by reds. A Chardonnay and a Viognier are also made as well as a Port style late harvest red. The red Zins are ripe and spicy with decent berry fruit, particularly the concentrated Especial from the Mustang Springs. Doug Beckett also produces a […]

Nadeau Winery Paso Robles

Small Zinfandel specialist based to the West of Paso Robles also producing small quantities of Grenache, Mataro and Petite Sirah. A rosé and two red blends are also made. RVR is a Rhône style, Mixed Black comprising Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Grenache. The vineyards are planted on welldrained slopes and are dry-farmed. An ideal exposure […]

Municipal Winemakers Santa Barbara County

Although a native Californian, Dave Potter spent his formative winemaking years in Australia, graduating at Curtin University in Margaret River and working for Fosters on a number of their leading brands, as well as stints at HENSCHKE in the Barossa Valley, Ch. de Montfaucon in the Rhône Valley and Fess PARKER in his native Santa […]

Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards

The whole Mount Eden range is characteristic of the best of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The wines are deep, powerful and reserved. All will benefit from cellaring. The Pinot is a big, rich style, whereas the Cabernet Sauvignons are tight and backward in their youth with considerable structure and grip. An Old Vine Reserve Cabernet […]

Morgan Winery Monterey County

Small to medium-sized warehouse winery. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah are mainly sourced from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey with a small amount of Chardonnay also coming from Arroyo Seco. These are first-class sources for the Burgundy varieties. Pinot Noirs come from Rosella’s, Double L, Tondre Grapefield and Gary’s vineyards in the Santa Lucia […]

Mer Soleil Winery Monterey

Several different varieties are cultivated at this small vineyard and winery near Santa Lucia. The focus is mainly on the full-on Chardonnay which is stylish and powerful and possesses an excellent balance of ripe fruit and well-judged oak. The Wagner family also runs CAYMUS in the Napa Valley and supplies the fruit for an attractive, […]

Margerum Wine Company Santa Barbara County

Doug Margerum had been in the wine business for 20 years before establishing his own small volume boutique winery operation. He operates out of a small space just behind the BRANDER winery, outside Los Olivos. His is a garage sized operation and like many newly established producers he is creating handcrafted wines from a range […]

Loring Wine Company Santa Barbara County

Pinot Noir, in various vineyard guises, is the main wine made by Brian Loring at his Lompoc warehouse winery, and very impressive it is too. Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre, branded Not Pinot, are also made as well as a series of Chardonnays, most of which are single vineyard wines. Fruit for the Pinots comes […]

Longoria Wines Santa Ynez Valley

Although he started his own label over 30 years ago, Rick Longoria, an experienced winemaker in the area, has only been running his own family winery since 1997. Production, as with many of his contemporaries, remains small and he is one of a number of producers with a warehouse facility in Lompoc. Albariño, Pinot Grigio, […]

Lincourt Vineyards Santa Barbara County

Bill Foley established this operation in 1996 where he produces wines from mainly Santa Maria and Santa Ynez fruit sources. More recently he has also established his own vineyard property Rancho Santa Rosa from where he produces estate grown Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under his FOLEY winery label. Both Santa Maria and […]

Laetitia Winery Arroyo Grande

Selim Zilkha was among a number of partners who purchased Laetitia from Champagne DEUTZ in the late 1990s. He has acquired sole ownernership. Sound, well-priced sparklers were the foundation of production here and are still being made but the real focus of the winery now is on good-quality estate and single-vineyard Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot […]

Labyrinth Winery Santa Maria Valley

Ariki “Rick” Hill produces top grade Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. The first wines emerged in 2000 when Rick joined forces with another Santa Barbara Pinot Noir star, Lane TANNER, now his wife. The name of the winery represents the problems of successfully growing and even more importantly gaining optimum flavour ripening from this […]

Kunin Wines Santa Barbara County

Well-priced Syrah, Viognier and red and white blends are all made at this small Santa Maria winery as well as Sauvignon Blanc from the Happy Canyon area. The regular Santa Barbara Syrah accounts for just over 1,000 cases a year and is marked by its rich, fleshy, forward fruit. Aged in a mix of French […]

Jaffurs Wine Cellars Santa Barbara County

An impressive small range of Rhône styles is made at Craig Jaffurs climate-controlled winery in Santa Barbara. The first vintage here was 1994 and production is still small and quality high. Syrah is the main focus and is sourced from the Ampelos, Thompson, Larner, Kimsey, Verna’s and Bien Nacido vineyards. Roussanne comes from the Stolpman […]

Jada Vineyard Paso Robles

Jack Massina, a New York heart surgeon, purchased the land in 1998 and in the following year 68 (27.5 ha) of the 100 acres (40.5 ha) purchased were planted to Syrah and a mix of Bordeaux varietals by John Crossland, the vineyard manager of the Beckstoffer Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Until 2005, grapes were […]

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