Santa Barbara has a beach town vibe and serious wines
Casual but sophisticated, Santa Barbara is the perfect combination of everything I need in life: a fantastic and diverse food scene; nearby world class surf; a laid back California beach town vibe; and some really terrific wineries offering fantastic values. (Also, there is great shopping to keep my wife busy while I drink wine).
Santa Barbara Winery has been making really nice wines right in the middle of this great city since 1962 and they are certified as a sustainable in practice. They are the anchor for what has become the hottest wine and food destination in SB – The Funk Zone.
The other night, while planning a weekend trip to SB, I decided to pull out a bottle of Santa Barbara Winery 2014 Chardonnay. This is their entry level Chard, ($17), but I prefer it to their reserve selection. It is blended with Chardonnay from several vineyards along with some Riesling and Chenin Blanc and is fermented on the lees. If you’re a geek like me, click here for the stats from the winemaker.
The winery sources its grapes from an array of quality vineyards in Santa Barbara County including from their own Lafond Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills. They bottle a bunch of different varietals including some lesser known grapes like Lagrein which always seems to sell out before I can get it. They’ve been reviewed and scored highly by some of the big boys and in the 2015 New York International Wine Competition they were recognized as the Central Coast Winery of the year and Central Coast Chardonnay Producer of the Year’
I enjoyed this bottle chilled with an awesome grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich from Roe Express in Long Beach. The wine showed red apples and honeysuckle on the nose followed by citrus and some richness on the palate. Also good acid balanced the fruit. It was a great pairing and it embodied what I love about so much about Santa Barbara – casual sophistication.
I’ll be doing a more detailed look at the great wine, food and shopping in this great city by the sea soon, but for now check out the Santa Barbara Winery website for some great wines.