Etude Winery was one of the first wineries I visited in the Carneros AVA (American Viticulture Area) and I immediately fell in love with it. Not only because of the beautiful setting, set pretty far back off the road or because of the beautiful new tasting room but because of their wines and the connection I had with their teams, specifically their Winemaker Jon Priest. I had the pleasure of being led by GM and Winemaker Jon Priest through my tasting which is an experience hard to beat. I learned about the various vineyards Etude sources from including Grace Benoist Ranch next door to The Durrell Vineyard, one of the most respected and highly acclaimed vineyards in Carneros. We also realized that Jon is originally from The Central Coast which has led to some of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Wines he is making from Sta. Rita Hills and the Santa Maria Valley both of which are regions I adore in Santa Barbara’s Wine Country and perfect for any California Winemaker making Burgundian varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to source grapes from. This is for sure a Carneros Winery not to be missed.
The stunning views of Etude Winery as I approached the winery for my visit.
The large tasting room with the wine tasting counter as well as tables for guests to sit and enjoy a tasting at.
The line up of wines I tasted through with Etude Winery Winemaker Jon Priest. This is my kind of tasting, especially talking through tasting profiles and other notes with Jon.
My favorite wines of the many we tried was this Etude Wines Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley’s North Canyon Vineyard. I find Santa Maria Wines the perfect blend offering amazing Pinot Noir flavors with a heavier body than what you’d find in most Russian River or Sonoma Pinot Noirs. This Pinot Noir also had a lovely rich, floral noise to it. I always say you can tell a Santa Barbara Pinot Noir from a Sonoma or Russian River because of their rich, beautiful aromatic noises which is not always visible on the latter two regions but a must in most Santa Barbara Pinot Noir wines.
A special thanks to Etude Wines and Winemaker Jon for hosting me during this visit and spending time sharing your winemaking experience and tasting with me. I look forward to sharing another glass or two with you during my next visit.