My God, if Saturday, April 22nd, is any example of what it’s like to be in the wine trade, I’m quitting the law right now. God was showing off that day.
We went up to Buellton for the Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Grand Tasting. Gorgeous weather. Spectacular. And there’s wine to drink, too. I am truly blessed.
The major regions in Santa Barbara County are Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara, Solvang, Foxen Canyon, Santa Rita Hills, and Los Olivos.
Now, I’ve been to this Festival numerous times. There’s always wonderful wine from the reliable producers. People like Brewer Clifton and Jaffurs. They did not disappoint. Greg Brewer has a way with chardonnay that is consistently remarkable. We’ve had some of his Chards that were 10 or 15 years old that we’re still fresh and delicious. Jaffurs always offers outstanding interpretations of Rhone varietals. We’ve been buying from them for the past 20 years.
But we wanted to try something new. And everything came together because we made some wonderful discoveries of new wineries.
Forgive me if you’re already know about some of them. They are Sandhi, Crawford Family Wines, Dragonette, Andrew Murray, and Demetria. I’m going to cover each one of them in detail in separate columns later but let me give you a few highlights
Sandhi has amazing chardonnays, with excellent structure and flavor; Demetria has a whole new take on Rhone varietals (they even have a Picpoul Blanc – quite tasty); Dragonette has a refreshing, grassy Sauvignon Blanc as well as the best Pinot being poured on Saturday; Crawford offered an Albarino that was tart and full of taste, as well as a delectable GSM; Andrew Murray offered a rose of cinsault, as well as their rendition of a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre).
The price of admission also included Hitching Post’s sliders and uncommonly delicious French fries. (Full confession – I had four helpings of the fries. I was hungry.)
Beautiful sunshine, sweeping vistas of the mountains, delectable Vino, tasty treats, and friendly people. That’s what the wine festivals have to offer in Southern California.
If you haven’t yet, you need to experience what a good wine festival has to offer. You can sample numerous variations of the same varietal, you can experience something new, and you can chat with the wine makers and owners themselves. It’s a great way to make a personal connection with a winery. A good festival to calendar now is Santa Barbara’s Celebration of Harvest Weekend being held from October 6-9, 2017. It will provide a whole new perspective for you.