If you enjoyed Champagne or sparkling wine last week while gleefully celebrating the demise of 2020, you may not have thought about the heavy bottle containing the bubbly. But there is a story there.
Wood emerged as a precious commodity in the 1500s. The population of England and Wales soared, escalating demand for wood. Wood was used to construct and heat buildings. It was used in glass making. It was vital to ship building.
It had been nearly four months since our group of wine tasting friends had assembled. Caution with fears of the pandemic caused us to put our get-togethers on hold. This week, we decided to test the waters. Ken and Taryn graciously invited us to their home to safely return to one of our passions.
Today, I have the pleasure of exploring one of their wineries, which also has vineyards: Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards. I received a great sampling of their wines; and, through these flavors, I can now begin to understand Santa Barbara’s American Viticultural Area (AVA) a bit more. Remember Sideways?
Among other things, it takes a good winemaker to make a good Pinot Noir. Megan McGrath Gates has been the winemaker for Lucas & Lewellen Estate Vineyards since 2007. Her winemaking career was launched as an enologist for Flowers Vineyard & Winery on the Sonoma Coast, crafting Burgundian-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while she earned a Certificate in Winemaking from UC Davis.