Santa Rita Hills Wines

We recently had an opportunity to attend a wine tasting  with the Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance, which showcased 17 wineries from the  Santa Rita Hills AVA. The wineries were (in alphabetical order)

Although Santa Rita Hills is one of the smaller appellations (approximately 100 square miles) in California, it isn’t small when it comes to growing grapes. This cool climate appellation is located in the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley between Buellton and Lompoc (Santa Barbara County).

Foggy Morning in Fiddlestix Vineyard

Marine winds and coastal fog keep the heat in check, making this area ideal for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. No, not the big fruit Pinot Noirs of the warmer Russian River, but more subtle balanced wines from grapes grown in sandy soils in the west and clay soils in the east which provide more black fruit character versus plum or strawberries. The chardonnays are ripe but crisp due to the cooler temperature, with a touch of mineral.

We wished that more SRH wineries had been part of the tasting which took place in San Francisco,  but this was an opportunity to taste some of the wines from vineyards that don’t always make it to our list when we travel through the Santa Rita Hills area. Wine is such a personal matter that we hesitate to identify those that we liked best. But we found some interesting wines at reasonable pricing.

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