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Jan 19, 2010 08:43 AM

Santa Babara area winery recs needed

We are planning a February birthday wine tasting trip and hoping to get some recommendations in the SB area. It will be our first time there and will have 2 full days to taste. We enjoy all varietals esp PN and SB. We are looking into staying at Bacara or the Ballard Inn but open to any suggestions. Some initial research produced Curtis, Beckman, Fiddlehead, Ken Brown, Zaca Mesa, and Melville as some of the wineries we would like to visit. We did hear that there is a Hungry Cat in SB which we love but any suggestions for a restaurant that emphasizes some of the local fare and wines would also be great. A few of our friends had a private wine tasting tour through the Bacara resort which they enjoyed but not sure if we will be staying there. I realize we are probably all over the map as far as locations so a possible must taste winery iteniary would be lovely. TIA !

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  1. Couldn't agree more with Beckman, Fiddlehead, and Melville. I would also add Alma Rosa, Sanford, Foxen, Fess Parker, Tercero, Sea Smoke (can make an appointment if you are a list member), and Foley to name a few. So many great options in that area that I could go on for days. -mJ

    3 Replies
    1. re: njfoodies

      We found Sea Smoke's offerings at WOPN last year disappointing, sad to say, especailly for the price. Thanks for the Tecero reco, haven't yet tried them.

      1. re: PolarBear

        I find that Sea Smoke needs many years to come around for my palate to truly enjoy. Like I have said in the past, we're still sitting on our '05's waiting for them to come around, and haven't even thoguht about touching '06's and '07's. Even the '03's and '04's can still use a little time, but when these come around, they are some of our favorite pinot out there. Such great wines with good complexity...with age.

        Tercero is owned by Larry Schaffer, who is also a winemaker at Fess Parker. He has some great wines, and you just cannot beat the pricing. His Rhone styled wines are great, and he is also making a few straight grenache and a few straight mourvedre wines as well that are amazing for the money, if you are into that style.

        He is also doing a rose from Grenache/Mourvedre that is killer. I think he also did a Grenache/Mourvedre/syrah rose that I don't think I've tried yet. I also haven't tried his Gew├╝rztraminer but need to, and his Grenache Blanc is a even better than Curran's grenache blanc.

        This just reminded me that I need to place an order so we can have some of his wines in stock for when summer rolls around. Such great stuff! -mJ

        1. re: njfoodies

          Thanks for the info, I'm a big fan of GSMs as blends and single varietals.