We here at Vino Las Vegas travel
often to bring our readers and viewers a unique and inside look at Food and Wine. One ppellation a that really stands out for us is the Sta Rita Hills located north of Santa Barbara California. This area has not yet been spoiled by many large wineries owned by multinational companys. The appellation has some of the best Pinot Noir , Chardonnay and Syrah in the U.S. if not the world. Recently we traveled to attend the Sta Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance Open House weekend and attended many of the events.
The best way to learn about an appellation is to "walk it". This
year there were two vineyard walks. On the Southside walk , guests joined winegrower Ken "Byron" Brown , Mitchell Klug and
Peter Cargasacchi as they looked at the soil , topography and explained the areas many micro climates at the Salsipuedes Vineyard. Guests on the Northside walk joined Wes Hagan and
Dan Kessler as they walked in the Clos Pepe and Kessler-Haak
Vineyards and discussed the geology and geography of the area.
After a morning walking the vineyards, many of the wineries opened their
doors for an Open House. Some of these wineries are normally open by appointment only. We made a stop at Ampelos Cellars and learned about
bio dynamic farming and then it was on to Alma Rosa winery and lunch
overlooking the LaFond Winery where we enjoyed some barrel samples.
We stopped in at the new winery of D'Alfonso-Curran to enjoy a Food and Wine Experience with
Kris Curran and Bruno D'Alfonso. This was an amzeing event with two extraordinary winemakers and food paired by Chef Kurt Alldredge.
The Gala Reception was a must stop on our list. The reception was held in the historic
Sanford and Benedict vineyard and barn. Many of the wineries such as
Clos Pepe , Sea Smoke and others were there pouring their wines. Wine is best with cheese and The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills and Vinhus of
Slovang did not disappoint us. The location of this historic barn allowed us a great view of the Sanford & Benedict , La Rinconada , Fiddlestix and
Sea Smoke vineyards as the sun was setting over the Sta Rita Hills
For those who wanted more , many of
the winemakers hosted incredible dinners.
Guests could attend a dinner at Clos Pepe, AP Vin and Loring Wine Company or attend a fun casual dinner with Norm Yost and Flying Goat Cellars or eat among the barrels with Pali and Cargasacchi at Pali wine companys new facility.
On Sunday the only place for a Food and Wine lover was the third annual FiddleFest 2008 held in the Fiddlestix vineyard. We enjoyed fiddling music , great wine and food provided by the Hitching Post. This event allows us to enjoy wines from winemakers that craft Fiddlestix designated Pinot Noir.
winemakers and winegrowers are. They are a close group and
have been known to help each other when needed. They all have
their own special style of winemaking but when it comes to the
group as a whole, they are close and many are friends.
We feel you can taste the passion and commitment in all of the wines from this appellation and is well worth a trip to see for yourself.