A lot of red wine areas have to work several years to get the recognition they deserve, and it was no various for Santa Barbara County.I remember when the vintners association brought their winemakers to San Francisco for a trade tasting occasion in the early 1990s, and the group at Wine Viewer publication was invited to go to. I was the assistant to the tasting planner and we both supported a couple of friends from work. I keep in mind being impressed by the friendly winemakers and vintners who addressed pour their wonderfully crafted wines for us. It was after that check out that I began to attend a few of the biannual tasting occasions in spring and fall.Over the past years, critics like the ones I worked for did start showing our great Santa Barbara County areas due regard. The current news is that the White wine Star Awards named Santa Barbara County their 2021 red wine area of the year.The event directors(which I never heard of in the past now
)produced a video that featured numerous winemakers and vintners, some of them pioneers from the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. I would say the most popular pioneer amongst them was Richard Sanford, who was the very first to plant vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, long before it made that regional name.Richard founded the original Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, which is still owned by Sanford
Winery, which Richard offered. Several years later he founded Alma Rosa, which was sold last year, but Richard continues to present the brand as their ambassador.I blogged about them and their brand-new tasting room in Solvang on Dec. 5, 2021. The video is short but features great images of our numerous white wine regions, and enables our local artists to speak for themselves. Consisted of in the video are Cock Dore of Foxen Winery, and Kathy Joseph of Fiddlehead Cellars, amongst lots of other winemakers. It also shows the hard-working teams who operate in the vineyards and wineries. You can see it on YouTube by searching”Santa Barbara County red wine region of the year.”I recently got a letter from Rick Longoria and his other half, Diana, which I was sorry to check out. That stated, I’m quite delighted for them, as it’s clear from this poignant letter they are very pleased about retiring. After
4 very successful years of making Longoria White wines, they have sold their winery and tasting space in Lompoc to Brooke and Lindsey Christian.Fortunately for the brand-new owners, Rick Longoria will continue to work with them as consulting winemaker. I think that was an excellent option for the Christians and I hope they keep him because position as long as possible. I have actually constantly thought of Rick Longoria as one
of my favorite wine makers, who is quite creative with a wide range of varieties including chardonnay and albarino to cabernet franc and pinot noir. “After 40 satisfying years of running our winery, we felt it was time the turn the page on this chapter of our lives. We are so grateful for the support of our devoted wine club members and industry partners throughout the years. We likewise want to reveal our appreciation to all of the past and present members of our production and sales teams, along with our long time growers, who have contributed to the success of our winery.” Longoria Wines has shown to be a leading force in the Santa Barbara County white wine industry. We opened one of the very first tasting spaces in Los Olivos and established the extremely first winery in the city of Lompoc in 1998. In that very same year, Rick planted an estate vineyard, Fe Ciega, in the Sta. Rita Hills, which earned
a track record for producing some of the most renowned red wines in the area. His early recognition of the unique growing conditions of the Sta. Rita Hills led him to contribute in its facility as a main viticultural appellation in 2001.”Rick’s curiosity and desire for a difficulty drove him to be one of the first producers of brand-new varietals from Santa Barbara County, consisting of cabernet franc in 1990, albarino and tempranillo in 2003, and mencia in 2021. We’re proud of all that we have actually achieved in the wine industry, and we’re anticipating seeing the next chapter of Longoria Wines unfold under the enthusiastic stewardship of its brand-new owners, Brooke and Lindsey Christian. Rick is thrilled to continue to bring his artistry to Longoria Wines, as he will stay involved as the consulting winemaker. We enjoy to reveal that Christina will continue in her role as tasting room manager, and Sylvia as tasting space associate.”We are so honored that Longoria Red wines has actually been a part of numerous special events over the last 40 years. That was exactly what we wished for when we began our winery back in 1982. Thank you for belonging of this fantastic journey! Cheers to a future loaded with a lot more special occasions including Longoria Red wines. Seriously, Rick and Diana Longoria.”That passion and commitment to the craft is the trademark of the majority of winemakers in Santa Barbara County, that’s why they are getting the recognition they should have from the start.