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Show Me the Way to Sta. Rita Hills

The Sta. Rita Hills appellation is quite unique among wine growing regions in California. Most of the producers who own vineyards in the region make their wine elsewhere, often in Lompoc. The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance website (www.staritahills.com) has an excellent map showing the major vineyards in the appellation, but largely ommitting the location of the winemaking and tasting facilities. This can create quite a bit of confusion for Pinot enthusiasts bent on visiting their favorite winemakers. Even the label websites often do not provide adequate information. I have made a stab a some clarification and I hope you find this of use in planning a trip to the region. Most tasting is done by appointment and for a more personal experience, I would recommend an appointment even for those wineries with tasting rooms. I have only included Pinot Noir producers. Many of the producer’s wines are also offered in tasting rooms in neighboring Solvang and Los Olivos.

Large wineries with vineyards and tasting rooms:

Babcock Winery & Vineyards 5175 Hwy 46, Lompoc. 805-736-1455. Tasting room 10-4 Fri-Sun.

Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery 6121 E Hwy 46, Lompoc. 805-688-8554. 3,500 sq ft hospitality center and tasting room adjacent to the winery open 10-5 daily.

Lafond Winery & Vineyards 6885 Santa Rosa Rd, Buellton. 805-715-2819 Tasting room open 10-5 daily.

Melville Vineyards & Winery 5185 E Hwy 46, Lompoc. 805-735-7030. Tasting room open 11-4 daily.

Sanford Winery & Vineyards 805-688-3300. Tasting room is in an old dairy barn at 7250 Santa Rosa Rd, Buellton and is open 11-4 (winter) and 11-5 (summer).

Wineries in the Sobhani “wine ghetto,” an industrial park located in the city of Lompoc near the end of Hwy 46. All require an appointment to visit and taste, except Fiddlehead, which has a tasting room open Thurs-Sunday 11-4. Phone numbers are on the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance website. Brewer-Clifton, Fiddlehead, Flying Goat (taste at Wine Country in Los Olivos), Gypsy Canyon, Huber Cellars, La Vie, Longoria, Presidio, Prodigal, Samsara, Sea Smoke, Stolpman.

Wineries in the northwest edge of the city of Lompoc in an industrial building known as the “Pinot Prison” because it sits on a road close to the prison. 1600 block of W Central Ave. All require an appointment to visit and taste. Ampelos/Ken Brown, AP Vin, Cargasacchi, Pali Wine Co.

Others:

Alma Rosa The tasting room is located in a small industrial park space at 201-C Industrial Way, Buellton and is open 11-4 daily. 805-688-9090.

Casa Cassara Winery is located off Hwy 246 on a private road. By appt only. Some wines available at The Olive House in Solvang. Contact Alicia Summers at 805-350-0627.

Clos Pepe Vineyards Vineyard located at 4777 E Hwy 246, Lompoc. Tours and tasting by appt. Winemaking at custom crush facility in Buellton. Excellent website (www.clospepe.com) with comprehensive information about the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. 805-735-2196

Demetria Estate Formerly Ashley’s Vineyard, now Gaia Vineyard is in Sta. Rita Hills. Business address is 6701 Foxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos. 805-686-2345.

Michael Grace Wines 1125 W Barton Ave, Lompoc. 805-737-4095.

Rozak Ranch 4525 Hwy 246, Lompoc. 805-736-1184.

There are multiple members of the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Association who source grapes from the appellation but whose winery is in another appellation - for example, Arcadian, Bonaccorsi, Carr Vineyards & Winery, Drew, and Hitching Post.

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