We are a wine shop that explores the best of both worlds with retail shopping and a walk-in tasting room open Tuesday through Sunday. Our tasting room selections change monthly and always focus on different regions. The ever-changing menu allows our guests to constantly explore and discover something new. This month we are exploring Campania in Southern Italy and Santa Barbara County within the Central Coast of California. Order a flight of all four wines or simply stop by, shop, and enjoy a glass. It's up to you!
Not only home to such infamous, tasty, and naturally beautiful attractions like Neopolitan Pizza or the Amalfi Coast, Campania is also known for an array of distinctive Italian wines. These are wines that encompass the warmth and natural charm of the people as well as the land from where they originate. With a rustic simplicity, the wines also carry the unintended side effect of making the drinker find themself embodying the Southern Italian lifestyle of slowing down and leaving today’s stresses behind for another time.
The diversity in terroir of Campania ranges from the hilly coastal areas to the volcanic soils surrounding one of Europe's most dangerous active volcanoes, Vesuvius. There are four classified subregions (DOCGs) within Campania, and the most well-known is Taurasi DOCG. Here the red grape Aglianico reigns, making full bodied wines with distinctive notes of leather, white pepper, black cherry, plum and cured meat. Approachable in their youth, but also age worthy, Aglianico is believed to be one of Italy’s best red grapes after Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. It is also the primary grape found in nearby Aglianico del Taburno DOCG as the name would indicate.
Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo are two DOCG’s known for white wines. Avellino is a small commune located 47 kilometers east of Naples known for its gastronomy and the age worthy white wine, Fiano (the fictional Tony Soprano was also known to be from the region). With its mouthwatering acidity and fruity, citrus, nutty and sometimes piney aromas, Fiano is a perfect food wine or an aperitif to cool off with during the hot Southern Italian summers. Tufo is a small town named for the volcanic rich limestone tufa that makes up the subsoil beneath it. When paired with the tufa and a bit of altitude, the Greco grape produces crisp aromatic white wines with medium body a strong mineral backbone. Many of the Greco di Tufo vineyards are cultivated at 1000+ feet elevation.
Another notable white varietal from this part of Italy is Falanghina. Known for its zippy palate with aromatics of citrus blossom and bitter orange, almonds and light minerality, the grape thrives in the Mediterranean climate and volcanic rich soils around Mount Vesuvius. In the last few decades there has been a movement amongst Campanian vintners to bring this once revered grape back to the standing it once had.
This flight is perfect for early Spring as these wines bring you the warmth of the Mediterranean and the simplicity of those Southern Italian vibes.
Until recently, most people probably know of Santa Barbara for one of two things. My personal high school favorite, the soap opera of the same name, or the 2004 film Sideways. While that movie may have helped put the region on the map as it pertains to wine, it killed the reputation of one of the most noble grape varietals, Merlot. Damn you, Paul Giamatti! The truth to the matter, in more recent times, Santa Barbara has become one of the ‘cool kids’ (pun intended) producing unbelievable range of world class wines.
Santa Barbara wine country offers a little bit of everything for both the novice and the advanced consumer. The wines are both elegant and sophisticated while maintaining down-to-earth minerality. For the most part, the wines show a rich, velvety texture balanced with delicious freshness and acidity. If you are a cool climate grape lover, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, then Santa Barbara is a great place for you to explore, get lost, and enjoy.
The region has a long history of wine production dating back to its first vineyards planted in 1782. While it is mostly known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, many wineries, like our friends at Stolpman vinyeards, are also producing noteworthy Rhone varietals like Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne. There has also been a recent increase in plantings of varietals like Chenin Blanc, Trousseau Gris, Gruner Veltliner and Gamay, which is actively adding diversity to the region.
The county is home to 283 wineries with seven officially recognized American Viticultural Areas, or AVA’s. The region’s inaugural AVA was Santa Maria Valley which was established in 1981 and the most recent one, Alisos Canyon was established in 2020.
Santa Barbara wine country is tucked between the Pacific Ocean and two mountain ranges: the Santa Ynez Mountains in the south and west, and the San Rafael Mountains in the east. Elevations range from 200 feet in the valley to 3400 feet in the hillside vineyards. The many rivers which flow down from the mountains towards the Pacific have carved out valleys and coastal plains over the millennia. The coastal valleys are oriented east-west, channeling cool ocean breezes and sea fog eastwards through the valleys. These climatic factors keep the vineyards in the county's western reaches cool with a moderate climate, while the vineyards to the east experience larger diurnal temperature shifts. The east to west nature of the mountain range is unique to the region and forms multiple microclimates, over a variety of soil types. Soils range from pockets of calcareous limestone to more diatomaceous earth, sandy soils, and water retaining clay/loam mixtures.
Swing by and check out the range of Santa Barbara wines we are pouring this month. From Grenache Blanc to Cabernet Franc, this flight has something for everyone.
Santa Barbara Flight
Looking to Customize?
We now host curated tastings for groups of two to ten people. Our tastings are a great way to explore wines that are new to you or indulge in some of your favorite regions. Whether you are looking to learn or to simply relax, our team has you covered.