As you have probably have read, I’m in LOVE with Santa Barbara’s County Wine Country. Why? Because they are making some of California’s most incredible wines, especially if you enjoy cold climate Pinot Noir or Chardonnay (which I absolutely do). Below is a list of my Top 10 favorite Lompoc Wine Ghetto Tasting Rooms & Wineries. If you want to see some other great Santa Barbara County Wines read more here. Happy wine tasting, I hope you enjoy!
LUTUM WINES are made by talented winemaker Gavin Chanin, who is also the winemaker behind Chanin Wines. LUTUM was born from a shared vision between Bill Price, entrepreneur and owner of Price Family Vineyards, and winemaker Gavin Chanin. Their wine focuses on small-production, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from prime vineyard sites in California. The name LUTUM is Latin for dirt or soil, referencing their mission to make wines that express these great locations, with little to mask the vineyards’ natural character. One of my favorite elements of this wine, besides the wine, is the labels! They are all painted by Gavin, not just winemaker, but artist. 300 N 12th St (by appointment only), Lompoc, CA 93436
Hanging out with Winemaker Gavin during a visit through Lompoc. Cheers to getting to enjoy these lovely wines with the winemaker himself!
If you like the wines from Lutum you’ll also enjoy Winemaker Gavin’s other wine label, Chanin Wines. Chanin Wine Co. aims to craft wines from Santa Barbara County that reflect the individual vineyard in which they are grown. There’s a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two grapes that are especially revealing of subtle differences in geography, geology, and climate. With grapes grown in Santa Barbara County, where cool coastal winds, diverse marine based soils, and a long growing season provide an exciting and unique environment for Burgundian varieties these are wines to be sure to check out. 300 N 12th St ( by appointment only), Lompoc, CA 93436
Any serious winos or wine enthusiasts are familiar with the well-known and respected Rajat Parr. Not only because of his involvement in various wine labels, including Sandi and Domaine de la Cote which he makes with Sashi Moorman, but also with his role as Wine Director for the Michael Mina Group. When visiting Sandhi Wines you can also taste their other wine, Domaine de la Cote. Both are incredible for different reasons. The Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Wines from Sandhi truly reflect the various AVA’s their grapes come from. The more familiar I get with the Santa Maria & Sta. Rita Hills AVA the more I understand how each AVA and even each vineyard has it’s own nuances, flavors, and traits. See for yourself when you visit The Lompoc Wine Ghetto and experience Sandhi Wines. By appointment only visit the website for details.
The line up of wines I tasted, including both Domaine de la Cote and Sandhi. Both are so incredible!
Domaine de la Cote
Palmina & La Voix Wines
Another tasting room I really enjoyed is Palmina Wines where Steve Clifton also makes his Burgundian varietals under the La Voix Wines. With a focus on Italian varietals using California grown grapes, this tasting room is very charming and has really delicious wines. Winemaker Steve realized that California and Italy have microclimates – specifically, Piemonte, Friuli, and Santa Barbara County – that are similar. All climates feature cold air pushing warm air to create growing conditions that provide enough sunlight to help fully develop fruit flavors. All three regions enjoy cool night temperatures that help to maintain the grape’s natural acidity levels and allow winemakers to create wines with a balance of fruit, tannin, and acid. Speaking of wines that go well with food, be sure to try the cheese pairing which they offer when you visit the wine tasting room. 1520 E Chestnut Ct, Lompoc, CA 93436.
A wine brand that I learned about on my most recent visit was Kita Wines. Their philosophy is to create wine that is a balance between soil, climate, location, and taste. All of their wines are hand harvested and the fruit is hand sorted in the vineyard and again in the winery to ensure that only the best grapes are carried into the wines. Kita wines symbolize the essence of terroir driven winemaking. 300 North 12th Street, Unit 1A
Lompoc, CA 93436.
Tasting with Kita Winemaker, Tara Gomez, during my visit to the Winery/Tasting room.
Tyler Winery is another great winery located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto dedicated to producing wines of delicacy and balance, where structure and nuance are favored above all else. Tyler Winery is making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (as expected for this region), and they also make a Cabernet Franc which is a more surprising varietal for this region. They also have another table, Lieu Dit, which has some really lovely, lighter white wines. 300 N 12th St #4a, Lompoc, CA 93436
Flying Goat Cellars
Flying Goat Cellars is a winery located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. Two pygmy goats, Never and Epernay, inspired winemaker Norm Yost to name his winery Flying Goat Cellars. I first tasted their wines at the World of Pinot Noir festival (read more about the festival here) at a Sparkling Wine seminar I attended. Their wines are well made, accessibly priced, and are produced to be drinkable when they’re released vs. holding onto them for additional aging. 1520 E Chestnut Ct Unit A, Lompoc, CA 93436
Brewer Clifton is another tasting room you must see when visiting the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. They aim to be singular and true to the region. They do everything in their powers to display and celebrate it in as honest and impactful a manner as possible. I tasted every single Pinot Noir & Chardonnay here and truly enjoyed each wine. 329 North F Street, Lompoc, CA 93436
What a treat tasting! These two incredible wines, both 2005 and 2010, were my favorites.
Another charming tasting room to check out in Lompoc is Longoria Wine. They have quite a large tasting room with a bar where you can try various wines. Be sure to swing by during your Lompoc Wine Tasting. 415 E. Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc, CA 93436.