Sta. Rita Hills, Consider the Source.
As the Sta. Rita Hills celebrates the 15 year anniversary of our AVA designation our panel of esteemed winemakers will reflect on the past, present and future of the Sta. Rita Hills. Speakers include some of the most influential Pioneer winemakers and growers in the Santa Rita Hills. A blind tasting of current and library wines will enlighten attendees to the virtues of both. Our AVA has just over 2,800 acres of vineyards, 75% being planted to Pinot Noir and 24% being planted to Chardonnay. Discover who and what influences the wines from this very cool wine region!
Introduction to the AVA- Richard Sanford (Alma Rosa Winery). Climate, geography, how it all started. Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills, the world acclaimed Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in 1970. He is an icon in the world of Pinot Noir and was inducted into the Vintner's Hall of Fame in 2012. With over 100 acres of certified organic vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, he focuses on continued excellence in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Early Years, Then and Now – Bryan Babcock (Babcock Vineyards). Babcock Winery and Vineyards was established in 1978 when the Babcock family purchased a 110 acre property on Highway 246 between Lompoc and Buellton in the western Santa Ynez Valley. The prestigious James Beard Foundation once named Bryan to a list of "Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World”. Bryan was instrumental in establishing the AVA and a pioneer in the farming and production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Sta. Rita Hills.
The Vineyards - Kathy Joseph (Fiddlehead Cellars). Kathy Joseph, winemaker and owner of Fiddlehead Cellars manages the 100 acres of Fiddlestix Vineyard located in the Sta. Rita Hills. This prestigious vineyard is known for producing stunning fruit that is utilized by several small producers. Neighboring vineyards of high pedigree include Sea Smoke, Sanford and Benedict and Mt. Carmel to name a few.
Sta. Rita Hills Wines On Your List and In Your Cellar – Frank Ostini (Hitching Post Wines). Celebrity Chef and winemaker Frank Ostini’s wine list at his Hitching Post II restaurant, of Sideways fame, is a no brainer. Load it up with local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and hear the corks pop in the dining room! Food friendly and affordable, these wines are an easy sell for your staff and will enhance the experience of your guests.
Time in a Bottle, Tasting Portion – Ken Brown (Ken Brown Wines). Ken Brown, yet another pioneer in our region, will lead the discussion on the age ability of wines from the Sta. Rita Hills. Ken continues to experiment with clones, rootstocks, soils and winemaking techniques, exploring the tremendous potential for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, working closely with growers of his vineyard designate wines. Taste current release and library wines from the winemaker’s cellars for this unique opportunity to taste Sta. Rita Hills Time in a Bottle.
Open to Members of the Trade and Enthusiasts