Last week I was lucky enough to attend the press event for the 9th Annual STARS of Santa Barbara at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Hosted by Ian Blackburn's Learn About Wine this event was a great way to explore the variety of wineries and wine varieties of Santa Barbara.
And there are a lot.
Below is a couple that of the many I tried, shown brighter and sparked like no other. So if you see them on the wine store shelf or on your favorite restaurant's list you cannot go wrong.
Dragonette Cellars, Winemaker
Liquid Farm is a Chardonnay focused project run by husband and wife team Jeff Nelson and Nikki Nelson. The company is Los Angeles based with their wine made in the Lompoc wine ghetto. Liquid Farm debuted with the 2009 vintage in two cuvees: White Hill (named for the chalky white hills of Chablis) and Golden Slope (named for the undulating slopes of Burgundy's Cote d'Or). You can get their wares at K&L, the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, and El VIno wines.
CHECK OUT White Hill Chardonnay, 2010. Baked pear, lemon curd, and cinnamon stick, this wine lasers in on Typicity (the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal origins, which truthfully I didn’t know that definition of until I read it in their Liquid Farm’s info). It’s their mission statement, and mission accomplished.
Winemaker Matthias Pippig produces of Rhone and Burgundy varietal wines, Sanguis makes unique small production blends from the best low yielding cool climate vineyards of Santa Barbara County.
CHECK OUT Las Mujeres, 2007. A blend consisting of 68% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 4% Roussanne, 2% Viognier it was balanced and ever so slightly spicy tasting of Carmel, Vanilla, and Cherry Pie. If you can get your hands on a bottle, Do It!
Also along with their libations Gioia Wines had some amazing food products that you will soon be able to get on their website. Created by Lauren Berley, Maison de Ferme offers such magical tastings as Herbs de Provence Chocolate and Apple Chutney.
Kris Curran & Bruno D’Alfonso, Winemakers
The makers of Foley and Sea Smoke got married and started making wines. They each have their own label; Curran for her, Santayna and BADGE for him, along with the joint project D’Alfonso-Curran Wines . Utilizing nearly 50 years combined experience, they offer a collection of awesome wines.
CHECK OUT All of them. Everyone I tasted was amazing!