Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"In the Ghetto"

"In the Ghetto" was made famous by Elvis Presley in 1969.  Nearly thirty years later, Rick Longoria moved his winery operation to an industrial complex at the eastern edge of Lompoc (pronounced "Lom-Poke"), which years later became affectionately known as the "Lompoc Wine Ghetto."

Neatly tucked behind the Home Depot and Lompoc Valley Medical Center at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Highway 1 lies a nondescript collection of single-story, corrugated metal buildings that has been transformed into a growing wine destination in Santa Barbara County. There's no shortage of wineries and wine tasting rooms in this renowned grape growing and wine producing region in California's Central Coast. On the flip side, you have to travel miles from one winery to another in order to experience the depth of wines being produced throughout Santa Barbara County. So, what if you could park your car and taste award-winning wines from a dozen wineries all within walking distance?

Pinot Noir. Chardonnay. Syrah. Viognier. It's all here at the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. For years, many Sta. Rita Hills wineries quietly crafted their wines with little fanfare in this industrial complex at the western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills in the historic agricultural town of Lompoc. With the surge of interest in Santa Barbara County wines, wineries have raced to open new tasting rooms in their production facilities to pour their highly acclaimed wines for Central Coast wine enthusiasts. Compared to the ornate wineries and tasting rooms lining Highway 246 and other major wine trails, the Lompoc Wine Ghetto is the equivalent of a dive bar "where everyone knows your name" and the places feels like a throwback to the past when the wine region was in its infancy.

Recently, the Lompoc Wine Ghetto launched a new website and Facebook page to promote the dozen wineries that pour award-winning wines from Santa Barbara County. The Lompoc Wine Ghetto has also produced a helpful map to help guide visitors through the maze of tasting rooms. There are future plans to bring eateries to the Ghetto since there are few if any restaurants in the area. With the newfound interest in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, as well as the recent launching of multiple online and social media tools to promote this newly discovered wine destination, it appears that the rising stars in Santa Barbara Wine Country are making a name for themselves "In the Ghetto."


GHETTO WINERIES

Ampelos Cellars
312 N. 9th Street, Lompoc.  (805) 736-9957
Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Rhône blends

Evening Land Vineyard
1712-C Industrial Way, Lompoc.  (805) 736-9656
Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Fiddlehead Cellars
1597 E. Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc.  (805) 742-0204
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir

Flying Goat Cellars
1520 E. Chestnut Court, Unit A, Lompoc. (805) 736-9032
Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir

Jalama Wines/Joseph Blair
308 N. 9th Street, Unit C, Lompoc.  (805) 735-8937
Friday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Rhône blends

La Vie Vineyards
308 N. 9th Street, Unit D, Lompoc.  (805) 291-2111
Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wines: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Longoria Wines
1700 Industrial Way, Unit A, Lompoc.  (805) 688-0305
Saturday-Sunday, 11:00 a..m. to 4:30 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10-$15
Wines: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Albarino, Tempranillo

Loring Wine Company
1591 E. Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc.  (805) 742-0478
Friday-Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Pinot Noir

New Vineland/Piedrasassi
1501 E. Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc.  (805) 736-6784
Friday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Syrah

Palmina
1520 E. Chestnut Court, Lompoc.  (805) 735-2030
Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Italian varietals

Samsara
1500 E. Chestnut Court, Unit A, Lompoc.  (805) 331-2292
Friday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah

Taste of Sta. Rita Hills
1505 E. Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc.  (805) 735-8774
Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir

Zotovich Cellars
1500 East Chestnut Court, Suite D, Lompoc.  (805) 736-1600
Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tasting Fee: $10
Wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier

Zotovich Cellars
Jalama Wines
Ampelos Cellars
New Vineland/Piedrasassi
Flying Goat Cellars

2 comments:

Shawn said...

I was just in the ghetto again yesterday.....great people, amazing wines.....no reason not to go visit!

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