We finished the 2016 harvest the day we left for the cruise. This year, we had plenty of grapes of exceptional quality. We had a few challenges during harvest that were heat related but we survived thanks to the canopies on our vines. Our Italian varieties were exceptional. I was really impressed with the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. For something new, we picked Pinot Grigio for Sparkling Wine, something to look forward to. For this, our last shipment of the year, we have selected wines for the coming holidays.
A full-bodied aged sparkler with a rich complexity, fine mousse, and ultra fine bubbles, this Champagne boasts a brilliant bouquet of crisp apple and grapefruit flavors and a lasting finish of creamed buttery bread
Marketing pro Liz Dodder gets a sparkle in her eye when she talks about the Central California wineries that make bubbly. “Bubbles are my favorite,” she says with enthusiasm, “and I was always keeping a personal list of who was making it.” That led her, in 2014, to produce a Central Coast sparkling wine map for her popular blog, Cali Coast Wine Country. There were 45 stops on that map, already a testament to a burgeoning industry.
A Sparkling Industry: New Maps Showcase Quick Growth of Central Coast Bubbly
Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor Travelzoo
In Santa Barbara County -- where pinot and chardonnay, Champagne's main ingredients, flourish -- many of the top tier producers sell their bubbles from about $20 to $50 a bottle, with a few commanding prices above $60. Many of them, like Lucas & Lewellen, produce the still wine locally and then truck the juice to an outside facility – a place called Rack & Riddle in Napa, mostly – to be further fermented into bubbly. But a growing number, including Flying Goat Cellars and Fess Parker Winery, produce their sparklers entirely in-house, emulating Champagne’s classic methode tradit
This harvest started the first week of August and ended the second week of October - the earliest start and finish in my 43 years of harvesting grapes in Santa Barbara County. One consolation is that we will have had time to prepare for the Harvest Party. Things should be in great shape to enjoy the festivities.
Tasting Reveals Wide Range of Local Sparkling Wines
December 24, 2015
Not too long ago, a tasting like this would have been impossible. When Flying Goat Cellars' Norm Yost launched his sparkling wine program in 2005, he was pretty much on his own. Other labels had dabbled in bubbles in the past, like Brewer-Clifton and Whitcraft. But sparklers made yearly from Santa Barbara County grapes was brand new territory.
Today, the number of local producers with a regular sparkling wine program approaches 40.
And, this year alone marks the first-ever releases of bubbles by several labels, like Alma Rosa and Potek. So the time seemed right to pick a random sampling and taste some of Santa Barbara's effervescence at its best.
The following three were my top picks of the night. Lucas & Lewellen Blanc de Noirs was my favorite on the night. Nectarines, apricot and brioche. Perfectly balanced. – $30 (great price) Summerland Winery Brut using Sonoma fruit was very crisp, and tasted of granny smiths and lime. $30 While Brewer-Cliftons straight Chard, from their own 3D vineyard, has more mouthfeel and a bit heavier with nutty, yeasty flavors and baked peach. You could age this one for 10 years or so. $50
Harvest is over. Even the Harvest Party is over. It seems that everything we’ve done this year has been early. That’s not a problem. When we harvest early, we eliminate a lot of issues like rain or frost or a stretched out picking season. Fast and furious was what took place. This vintage has the potential for greatness.