Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Jan 6, 2010 12:02 PM

CA Central Coast South Wines/Wineries

We're flying into LAX for a long weekend and want to visit some wineries in the southern central coast area (Santa Barbara/Buellton area or nearby). We tend to prefer wines that are balanced, have plenty of acid, and are not overly ripe (our cellar is mostly Italian and French). Any recommendations for wines/wineries in the southern part of the central coast to visit who make the kind of wine we'd enjoy? Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: scrappydog

      Thanks; those are definitely a starting place! I'm interested in anyone's current recommendations as well. Are the tasting rooms crowded on weekends in winter?

    2. A little north of your area, but I love Talley in Arroyo Grande (by Pismo Beach). It's gotten riper in recent years.
      In the Lompoc Wine ghetto there's Palmina, which does some great Italian reds. I'm not a fan of the whites of theirs that I"ve tried. Melville is good but riper. I also like Fiddlehead, Loring. Dierberg is a little riper but solid across the line, including their second labels. Clos Pepe is a little more European. I also like Stolpman.
      If you like viognier, check out Cold Heaven. More European.
      Alma Rosa is run by the guy who used to own Sanford. I have tried his wines yet but he has a good track record.
      I'm not sure who has tasting rooms and what the hours are.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SteveTimko

        I stopped by Alma Rosa once and I thought the wines were a little expensive. Of all things, I bought a Pino Gris to take home. Sometime later, I found that bottle and wondered why I bought it. After drinking it, I remembered why. I’ve been meaning to return to get more, even though it’s a little expensive.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          Thanks for the leads on places to visit!

          I didn't realize Brian Loring was in Lompoc. I attended a tasting he conducted in MI a few years ago. I really like the guy, but his wines...not so much :-) His Pinot Noir is a bit much for me.

          1. re: Niki in Dayton

            Then I'd stick to the Rhone varietals and maybe Palmina because Loring is fairly typical for Santa Barbara pinot.
            I'd still suggest you check out Dierberg, though.