Monday, July 7, 2008

My Recent Winetasting Trip

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Beau and I took a little trip up to the Santa Barbara area for some wine tasting. This was in part to just get out of town for a couple of days and in part to provide a wide selection of wines for Mr. Beau to taste and help me gauge where his wine preferences lay. Over a three-day weekend we traveled to and tasted wines at the following wonderful wineries (in the order in which we tasted):

  • Brander Winery (excellent all around offerings)
  • Gainey Winery (very good wines, nice chardonnays this year)
  • Kalyra Winery (a fun winery with some excellent lighter and dessert wines)
  • Beckman winery (top-notch Syrahs and and tasty Grenache... and the hottest pourers according to Mr. Beau)
  • Bridlewood Winery (they seem to have come up a notch in their offerings since the Gallo buy-out)
  • Firestone winery (Good wines, nice Riesling)
  • Curtis Winery (wonderful Rhone-style wines)
  • Fess Parker Winery (Davy Crockett knows his wines, but watch the alcohol content on the new Syrahs)
  • Zaca Mesa Winery (a new one for me, great offering, don't pass up the Z Cuvée or the Z Three from them)

    Nice, solid producers one and all. Each have their specialties as most wineries do and each gave us an appreciation for the types of wines they are known for. One of the more interesting trends I observed was with Fess Parker who is slowly pushing up the alcohol content on some of their Syrahs yet keeping things pretty well balanced (my only complaint is that with higher alcohol content I can't consume as much... but this was a tasting trip, not a drinking trip). In future posts I will examine each of the wineries and what I like about them. You will come to find that at this point in time I am a big fan of the California central coast producers and of the southern end (Santa Barbara County) most of all.
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