Thursday, November 11, 2010

Discovering the Elixir of Life at Dragonette Cellars

Dragonette Logo
Adding to the plethora of wine tasting rooms in Downtown Los Olivos is one of the most well-regarded wineries and winemaking teams in Santa Barbara County.  This summer, Dragonette Cellars moved their tasting room from their working winery in Lompoc (co-located with Ampelos Cellars) to Los Olivos in what has become a winning move for this new(ish) venture from a uniquely experienced winemaking team, which includes brothers John and Steve Dragonette and Brandon Sparks-Gillis. The breath of experience among this winemaking trio is evident in every sip of wine.  Although it is important to hone your winemaking skills in the winery during harvest, the trio also pays particular attention to the conditions in the vineyards where they source their fruit.

While I enjoy visiting a working winery with a tasting room, especially during harvest, you can't help but applaud this move from Lompoc to Los Olivos. Dragonette Cellars is offering wine enthusiasts in this quaint wine tasting destination some exciting wines with depth and flavor that is elevating the level of winemaking in Santa Barbara County.

2007 MJM
Dragonette Cellars sources fruit from a variety of renowned vineyards in Santa Barbara County including Cargasacchi-Jalama, Fiddlestix, Watch Hill, Demetria Estate, Grassini, Koehler, Stolpman, Thompson and Shadow Canyon in Paso Robles.  Wine selections include a Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. You will be hard pressed to leave the tasting room without a bottle or two given the quality and depth of these wines. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy the Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir from Fiddlestix Vineyard, and MJM - a barrel select blend of mostly Syrah.  So step up to the handcrafted wine tasting bar and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Dragonette Cellars
2445 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos (map)
(805) 693-0077
Open Thursday-Monday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tasting Fee: $10 for 4 wines, $15 for 6 wines
Facebook: Dragonette Cellars
Twitter: @Dragonettewines

Dragonette Cellars Tasting Room, Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Had Me at Syrah...

Tucked away near the end of Alamo Pintado Avenue in Downtown Los Olivos lies one of the newest tasting rooms in a sea of wine purveyors. Blair Fox Cellars exemplifies the phenomenal success of a handful of winemakers focused on producing handcrafted, Rhône varietal wines from Santa Barbara County, particularly Viognier and Syrah.

Blair and Sarah Fox have brought a unique charm to this quaint town that has seen a proliferation of tasting rooms in the last few years. What makes them stand apart from some of the others is the standout quality and characteristics of their award-winning wines and the intimate charm of their small tasting room.  If not tending to his own label, Blair Fox heads the winemaking team at Fess Parker Winery and Epiphany Cellars, which includes Larry Schaffer (Tercero Wines) and Dave Potter (Municipal Winemakers).  It's apparent that if you're looking to make a mark in the wine world and producing award-winning wines, you need to join this winemaking team.

Blair Fox Cellars sources fruit from the Paradise Road Vineyard, Tierra Alta Vineyard, Purisima Mountain Vineyard, Thompson Vineyard and the Fox Family Vineyard.  Although Blair focuses on producing some of the best Syrah varietal wines in Santa Barbara County, he also produces a superb Vermentino varietal wine from the Fox Family Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley.  With the help of some well-deserved praise from Robert Parker and other wine critics, Blair Fox Cellars is sure to sell out of their limited case production of wines much sooner than anticipated.  So be sure to add Blair Fox Cellars to your wine tasting itinerary the next time you plan a trip to Santa Barbara County Wine Country!

Blair Fox Cellars
2902 San Marcos Ave., Suite B, Los Olivos (map)
(Front door located on Alamo Pintado Ave.)
(805) 691-1678
Open Friday-Sunday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Twitter: @BlairFoxCellars
Facebook: Blair Fox Cellars

Blair Fox Cellars Tasting Room, Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos
Blair Fox Cellars Tasting Room, Los Olivos
Blair Fox Cellars, Tasting Menu