Top 10 Santa Barbara & Monterey Wines
Hanging out before we entered the Friday tasting with Josh Jensen, Master Sommelier Fred Dame (another wine industry pal), and Larry Hyde of Hyde Winery & Vineyards.
1. Rusack Winery – These wines are incredible coming from various vineyards, including production on Santa Cantalina Island. Both the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are lovely!
2. Fess Parker – Fess Parker offers great Pinot Noirs which I first tasted at the WOPN. I have since visited the winery and am more familiar with their assortment of not just Pinot Noirs, but also great Chardonnays.
The Clone 115 Pinot Noir was one of my favorites from Fess Parker.
Riverbench Wines & Nagy Wines
3. Riverbench Wines & 4. Nagy Wines both by fabulous winemaker Clarissa Nagy. You can find Riverbench in their winery or in downtown Santa Barbara (in their tasting room). These wines are beautiful. They are extremely smooth and silky with flavorful bright fruit. Clarissa does a tremendous job on both of these labels, which I adore.
5. Presqu’ile Winery – Another fabulous Santa Barbara Winery with wines I love and was thrilled to taste throughout the WOPN festival. Since the event, I have visited this spectacular, beautiful property which I recommend you see. Learn more about my visit and Presqu’ile Winery here.
6. Calera Wine – This is a very special addition to my list as I met Josh Jensen, Winemaker & Proprietor of Calera Vineyards, the first day of The World Of Pinot Noir event. After we met and sat together during a lunch, he generously invited me to join him for The Rock Stars of Pinot Noir Dinner honoring him! This was quite a special invitation so I will always cherish how I got familiar with Calera Wines and their legendary proprietor, Josh Jensen. What incredible wines from a truly talented man.
Me and Josh Jensen at the Rock Stars of Pinot Noir Dinner. What an incredible evening of great wine, food, and enjoyment, all honoring this winemaking legend!
7. Melville Winery – This is another incredible Santa Barbara Winery with lovely Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay I adore!
Alma Rosa Winery
8. Alma Rosa Winery – Alma Rosa Pinot Noirs are another favorite of mine, which I was thrilled to enjoy at The WOPN. They have an awesome NEW tasting room in Buellton which I also had a chance to visit after The WOPN and highly recommend you check out!
Hitching Post Wines
9. Hitching Post Wines – A Top 10 Santa Barbara Winery list would not be complete without this historic and legendary Winery we all know from Sideways, the movie!
Brewer Clifton Wine
10. Brewer Clifton Wine – Another incredible Santa Barbara Winery at the event was Brewer Clifton. I fell in love with their Pinot Noirs at WOPN and have been fortunate to return to their tasting room since and experience their Chardonnays (which are also amazing). The wines aim to reflect the grape’s vineyard location without much change done on the winemaking side. I can’t wait to drink more of these lovely wines.
Thanks to The World of Pinot Noir for hosting me to this fabulous weekend of wine, food, talent, and fun. I cherished every minute and can’t wait to return for The 2017 World of Pinot Noir!!