Santa Barbara County wineries not only produce great wine but they also produce great green wine. Santa Barbara Wine Country received lots of attention after the movie Sideways was filmed there. However, Santa Barbara County deserves even more attention for the fabulous green wines being produced in this wine region. Some of the labels used to describe green wines include Certified Biodynamic, CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) Certified Organic and SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice). The following Santa Barbara County wineries produced great green wines:
Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards (Certified Organic)
Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards 7250 Santa Rosa Road, Bulleton was founded in 2005 by the Sanfords. Richard and Telka Sanford brings to Alma Rosa 40 years of sustainable wine growing history. The Sanfords commitment to environment is part of the philosophy that they bring to all aspects of Alma Rosa. Frommer’s listed Alma Rosa as one of 10 Best California’s Wineries with a View. There is a long list of wine reviews, awards and recognition of Richard Sanford on Alma Rosa’s webpage. This is not surprising given Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir in the Santa Rita Hills in 1970. You can check Alma Rosa reviews at Fodor’s, WineDineTv and Yelp. If you are looking for a California winery with a commitment to the environment and great Pinot Noirs then put Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards on your wine route.
Ampelos Cellar and Vineyard (Biodynamic Certified, Certified Organic and Sustainability in Practice Certified (SIP))
Ampelos Cellar & Vineyard 312 North 9th Street, Lompoc was the first in Santa Barbara County, and the United States to receive all three certifications (SIP Certified, USDA Organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic). This is an impressive accomplishment. It is not surprising that Ampleos Cellar wines gets great reviews (see Cuisineist, Prince of Noir, Snooth, WineDineDaily and Yelp).
Beckmen Vineyards (Biodynamic Certified)
Beckmen Vineyards 2670 Ontiveros, Los Olivos was founded by the Beckmen’s in 1994. Through the Beckmen’s efforts and their commitment to sustainable farming practices they have established a reputation for producing excellent estate grown Rhone varietals. Check wine reviews for Beckman Vineyards at Gayot, KensWineGuide, Snooth and Yelp.
Casa Barranca (Certified Organic)
Casa Barranca 208 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai was the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara County. The winery is part of the Historic Landmark Casa Barranca Estate. You can check Casa Barranca reviews at Prince of Pinot, Snooth, Tripadvisor and Yelp.
Coquelicot Estate Vineyards (Certified Organic)
Coquelicot Estate Vineyards has a tasting room at 2884 Grande Avenue in historic Los Olivos. Coquelicot is French for red poppy. Their estate vineyard is organically farmed. Check out Coquelicot’s wine reviews at Food and Beverage World, Yelp and see their website (Awards and Accolades and News and Press).
Demetria Estate Winery (Biodynamic Certified)
Demetria Estate Winery 6701 Fox Canyon Road, Los Olivos has two wine portfolios (Burgundian varietals and Rhone-style blends). The Burgundian wines are sustainably farmed in the Santa Rita AVA whereas the Rhone-style blends are biodynamically farmed in the Estate Vineyard in Santa Ynez AVA. Cori Soloman’s article describes a visit to Demetria. Demetria reviews are available at Prince of Pinot, Snooth, Tripadvisor and Yelp.
Riverbench Vineyard and Winery (Sustainability in Practice Certified (SIP))
Riverbench Vineyard and Winery 6020 Foxen Canyon Road, Santa Maria is known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. See Riverbench’s wine reviews at MidWest Wine Guy, EzineArticles, Gayot, Snooth and Too Much Wine . . . Too Little Time article.
Sunstone Vineyards and Winery (Certified Organic)
Sunstone Vineyards and Winery 125 Refugio Road, Santa Ynez produces certified organic wines. Sunstone Winery is one of the largest organic wineries in Santa Barbara Wine Country. For more information on Sunstone you can read Frommer’s Review and check visitors reviews on Yelp. Read reviews of Sunstone wines at Snooth and by Sarah O’Brien at Floating CORK.
The above Santa Barbara Wineries illustrate the green wine movement within Santa Barbara County. While many wine lovers have welcomed the greening of the wine industry there have been challenges. Julie Ma’s article on perceptions of organic wines talks about the issues that the wine industry has to deal with in the marketing of organic wine. The labeling of a wine as being “certified organic” or “made with organic grapes” is an ongoing discussion, as referenced in a recent Spectator article. Tom Wark’s article on natural wines also summarizes some of the issues. However, a New York Time’s article called Natural Woman is an illustration of a worldwide trend towards green wine.
I invite you to check out my travel column at the Examiner or to check out Spaswinefood.
© Sharon Parsons
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