This past weekend, I had the rare opportunity to get out of town to do some much needed “research.” The Santa Barbara Wine Country in Southern California is close to LA, but feels miles away, and some of my favorite wines come from the region. Allow me to share them with you.
FIRST STOP: MELVILLE
Great winery, nice people, and VIP treatment! Their estate wines are out of this world. They have so many— Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah Clones. Beautiful facility, cool climate, and their stainless steel Chardonnay was a big hit. I will have some of their wines on our Blu Jam Cafe wine lists very soon.
SECOND STOP: DIERBERG AND STAR LANE
This winery is very interesting. The DIERBERG side is making Pinot and Chardonnay, and STAR LANE is making wines from the hotter part of the valley, mainly from Happy Canyon AVA. Among my favorites is their 100% Cabernet Franc. Yes. I said it… 100% Cabernet Franc!
Definitely visit this winery. It’s an unassuming old farm house converted into tasting room with great wines inside.
THIRD STOP: RUSACK
Rusack Vineyard is always among my wine stops. Besides making great Syrah, they are the only ones that have vineyards on Catalina Island, and their Pinot Noir from there is simply crazy-good. I had to get some for bragging rights since they don’t sell it anywhere. You can get it only at the winery, so I bought a case of it!
They make great Chardonnay, great Pinot, and their Syrah is outstanding, as well. Bring a picnic, sit under one of the many beautiful Californian Oaks trees, order bottle of wine and relax.
You will thank me.