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. Begin your rosé tour with a stop at El Presidio in the Presidio Neighborhood, where you’ll have the chance to savor wines from Au Bon Climat, Grassini Family Vineyards, and Happy Canyon Vineyard, all who have refined rosés waiting to be shared with you.
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. At Margerum Wine Company, sip on one of their signature wines, aptly named Riviera Rosé. For a one-stop-shop, Santa Barbara Wine Collective has a specialty rosé tasting flight that includes pours of the 2016 Mattina Fiore Saignee Rosé, 2018 Cebada Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2019 Notary Public Rosé of Grenache, and 2020 Tribute to Grace Rosé of Grenache. 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‘ 2019 Gypsy Soul, and you can pay tribute to one of the “originals” at Santa Barbara Winery while savoring their Rosé of Syrah.
Adjacent to The Funk Zone, you can take advantage of Carr Winery’s glorious patio while sipping on one of two varietals of rosé, mourvèdre and grenache.
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, pouring a 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir.
In Buellton, pop into Alma Rosa to taste their Vin Gris Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Make a beeline to 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 rosé lovers a taste of the Clementine Carter Grenache Rose. And Saarloos & Sons in Los Olivos has a collection of several high-end, limited edition rosés for the avid collector and a premium pink sipper.
Last but most certainly not least, if you’re up for a bit of a road trip, Presqu’ile Winery and Cambria Estate Winery offer patio-perfect pinks and scenic vineyard views as far as the eye can see in the Santa Maria Valley. At Presqu’ile, savor the flavors of a mild-summer day with the 2019 Santa Maria Valley Rosé, while Cambria Estate Winery serves up the easy-drinking 2019 Julia’s Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir.
Cheers to an endless summer!