Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vino Las Vegas visits Buttonwood Winery and Farm in the Santa Ynez Valley



Buttonwoods 39 acre vineyard stretches across the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez valley. The entire property includes about 106 acres that include the vineyard , winery , tasting room , a pond and peach orchards. Its is a true farm in every sense of the word and is busy all year around.
The vineyard started planting in 1983 and now has grown to over
33,000 vines. Buttonwood has a wide variety of vines such as
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Marsanne, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah . These Bordeaux and Rhone style wines grow well in the eastern Santa Ynez Valley.



We had met winemaker Karen Steinwachs at the World of Pinot Noir. She really impressed us with her passion for winemaking and decided to stop by when we were in Santa Ynez. Karen is not a newcomer to the business. She started at Foley for a six week harvest job that turned into three years. During this time she developed her passion and never looked back.






Karen was just beginning and off to Fiddlehead vineyards. She now had
the day to day responsibility of looking after the wine and stayed there
for three harvests. She felt it was time to do something on her own. She
landed at Buttonwood as their winemaker and what a great fit it seems to be.




We met Karen at the winery and we drove into the vineyard. On
the way to the "top" we passed a beautiful pond near the winery.
The road got steeper and we drove through the peach orchards and even saw the goat pins. We climbed higher still, turned a sharp
corner on the dirt road and what a view. We were on top of a mesa surrounded by Buttonwoods vineyard and the farm and
orchards streached out below us. From this vantage point we could see the Santa Ynez valley and many of the vineyards. That is a view that we will not soon forget.

video
We spoke with Karen on top of the Mesa as she explained her winemaking philosophy and showed geographic landmarks of the valley below. As we spoke to her , you could see the love and passion for what she does. We headed down for a look at the winery and to taste some of her wines.
We started off with the Buttonwood " Zingy" Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2007. The nose on this refreshing wine jumped out at us and the palate came through with citrus and classic Sauvignon Blanc overtones. This little " Zingy" really surprised us and would be perfect on a warm sunny day. We have had many Sauvignon Blancs and this one is right in there with the best.
We also tasted the Buttonwood Trevin which is Buttonwoods proprietary name for their Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon . The blend on the Trevin can change with each vintage as Karen uses a blend that showcases the best elements of Trevin's three components. This is a great food wine and only has a production of 486 cases.
Buttonwood even produces a Cabernet Franc. Buttonwood Cabernt Franc Santa Ynez Valley 2003 is another one that stood out for us. On the nose the spice really came through and on the palate as well. Buttonwood even has a "Franc Fest" every year to show off this incredible wine. With only 313 cases produced this is one to jump for.
We enjoyed our visit at Buttonwood and the opportunity to spend time with Karen. She took us on a tasting tour of most of the Buttonwood wines. They were all very special. If you are in Santa Ynez stop by and say hello to Karen and her staff. To learn more about Buttonwood you can go to http://www.buttonwoodwinery.com/.

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott