The country has gone crazy for rosé, and with blogs and wine clubs dedicated to the pretty-in-pink drink, it certainly looks to be a trend that’s here to stay. As it should be! Rosé is accessible and fun. It’s very food-friendly and generally inexpensive. Plus, it looks great in the glass (hello, Instagram!) and is a stylish addition to any picnic. For those who aren’t fond of white wines, it’s the perfectly chilled companion for hot summer days and balmy summer nights.
What better place to drink pink than in The American Riviera®?! It’s a match made in wine pairing heaven. Santa Barbara is here to satisfy your rosé cravings and cultivate your pink palate. Area winemakers have been producing rosés for decades and now that it’s risen to star status, more producers have added it to their line-up of annual releases…with playful gusto! This is just a sampling of hot pink spots to taste the many shades of Santa Barbara County rosé available at our local tasting rooms.
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Rosé is prolific along the Urban Wine Trail in downtown Santa Barbara. Margerum Wine Company’s aptly named Riviera Rosé recently got a more masculine sibling in the form of a “Brosé” available exclusively through their El Paseo tasting room. While there, stop into neighboring Jamie Slone Wines and Au Bon Climat who have refined rosés of their own to share with you.
A few blocks up State Street, the Sanford Winery tasting room in La Arcada Court invites you to compare and contrast their Pinot Noir Vin Gris and Rosé of Pinot Noir. You can do some more deep thinking while taking advantage of Carr Winery’s glorious new patio while sipping on the 2016 Carr Pinot Noir Rosé.
You’ll find rosé at every turn in The Funk Zone. Start with Municipal Winemakers’ popular Pale Pink, a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Carignane, Counoise, Grenache Blanc, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Riverbench Winery pours an elegant Rosé of Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley AVA. For a one-stop shop, Santa Barbara Wine Collective pours The Paring Rosé of Pinot Noir and Fess Parker’s Rosé of Pinot Noir. At Kunin Wines, sit back and sip on two different, but equally delicious, rosés. You’ll need to book an appointment to taste the Sanguis Santa Ynez Valley Rosé, and you can pay tribute to one of the “originals” at Santa Barbara Winery while savoring their Rosé of Syrah.
A Little Further
In the sweet little beach enclave of Summerland just south of Montecito, Summerland Winery is a natural purveyor of the “summer water.” Summerland’s Rosé of Pinot Noir “La Rousse” is made with grapes from the Theresa-Noelle Vineyard in the cooler climate Sta. Rita Hills.
Worth the Drive
Day tripping to taste in the Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valleys offers an abundance of fabulous wineries to choose from. If you’re going coastal in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, Ampelos Cellars makes a magnificent, sustainably produced Rosé of Syrah. Longoria’s annual Pink Wine release established in 2007 is called Cuveé June in honor of the winemakers’ first grandchild. Fiddlehead Cellars’ “Pink Fiddle” Rosé of Pinot Noir is made by the trailblazing female winemaker, Kathy Joseph.
Heading out of town towards the Santa Ynez Valley on Highway 246, stop at the Star Lane tasting room to try their Star Lane Rosé of Malbec. Or, book an appointment to taste and tour at Pence Ranch, a newer producer pouring a 2016 Rosé from their Estate Vineyard.
In Buellton, pop into Alma Rosa to taste their Vin Gris Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. If it’s after 4:00 p.m., belly up to the bar at Hitching Post II to try their Dry Rosé by the glass paired with a grilled artichoke or, better yet, book a table to have the full sit-down BBQ dinner experience.
Sunstone Winery is a picture-perfect spot to go for the pink—try two different types of rosé at their Santa Ynez winery that will transport you to Provence. Casa Dumetz in quaint Los Alamos also offers two rosés for your tasting pleasure—a Syrah Rosé and Grenache Gris Rosé. And Saarloos & Sons in Los Olivos has a collection of several high-end, limited edition rosés for the avid collector and premium pink sipper.
Cheers to an endless summer!