Monthly Archive for April, 2013

Images from our Open House Weekend – Great Day

All photos by our in-house photographer Pablo Mendez.

Our Visit to the Kanaloa Seafood Plant in Santa Barbara

alternative This has nothing to do with wine except that we have some great wines that go with seafood. We toured the Kanaloa Seafood plant in Santa Barbara and heard a very impassioned presentation from owner Sandree Disraeli about her company’s dedication to preservation and sustainability. This is their only plant.

Kanaloa buys directly from fisherman, ‘green’ fisherman, who are dedicated not only to sustainability but into all aspects of their work – the way they fish, the engines in their boat, their nets…

By careful management they can increase the size of the fish they catch – using the natural reproductive life cycle of the various species – and bring back species that have all but disappeared.

We are working, at our restaurants with seafood companies, such a Kanaloa, and with the Monterrey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Alliance, to provide the best and healthiest seafood. Healthy for the ocean and the consumer.

A few images of the fish as they are being prepared – weighing and tagging each item as it comes in, preparing the fish for delivery or shipment to all parts of the country. The care, the sanitation, the work of those who cut it, is very impressive.

Pinot Noir 4/20/13

4.20.13-pinot-noirThe day is warm and the vines are growing. We have had at least three recent frost scares but we hope that this is coming to an end soon.

The whole vineyard looks good and except for the lack of rain this has been a good year so far.
Click image to enlarge:

Santa Barbara Winery New Release – Hilltop Ranch Vineyard 2012 Syrah Rosé

2012-rose-of-syrah-bottle-1When Bruce first identified a section of Hilltop Ranch Vineyard as being particularly well suited to making rosé, we were becoming aware of a re-energized interest in these wines produced in a dry style with serious winemaking techniques.

A dry rose is a prized complement to food and company, particularly well suited for warm summer days outside as an apertif or to accompany a meal.

The 2012 Rosé of Syrah is composed of Syrah fruit from Hilltop Ranch Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills AVA, on an adjoining property to Lafond Vineyard.

A terrific wine with ample weight to enjoy with all but the heartiest of foods. Delightfully refreshing with a simple lunch of cheese, cured meats, olives and bread on a warm day.

Winemaker’s Comments: The grapes were destemmed and hand sorted, followed by an overnight cold soak on the skins prior to pressing for proper color intensity. A cool fermentation took place entirely in stainless steel tanks. Plum aromas and flavors with some cool climate spice.

Suggested retail: 16.00
Click image to enlarge:
To Order:

Lafond Winery Open House Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st

DSC_0041The Vintners’ Festival is Saturday. We are having an Open House both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

New releases great Cheeses, Strawberries, Chocolate and best of all Mirella’s fabulous Tacos prepared by the legendary Taco Chef, and brother of Mirella, Juan Ramirez for the umphteenth year.

The weekend promises to be gorgeous, vines are growing, flowers are blooming – regeneration, a good time of the year.
Mark your Calendar!

View of the Lafond Winery Entrance with the Blooming Ceanothus on the left


Thursday, April 11, 10:00am – Fog Lifting over the Pinot Noir Bloc


New Visitors

4.09.13-cruise-4This year for the first time we are having large groups of visitors that arrive by bus by way of cruise ships. Santa Barbara has become a popular port of call and what better way to spend the day than to visit the valley. We generally have a group in the morning and one in the afternoon.

In the morning they visit us first and go to three other wineries in the valley and in the afternoon they reverse the order, come to us last before heading back to the ship.

The cruise ship company allows them to bring bottles aboard and many have wine shipped to their residences. Overall it is a pleasant experience. They are an interesting and varied group coming from many places.

‘Say Cheese’ Wine and Cheese Pairing at Santa Barbara Winery Saturday April 6, 2013


The South African Connection

4.05.13-shaneShane Keck, our assistant Winemaker, has returned from a two month absence where he worked at the La Motte Winery in Franschhoek, South Africa, about an hour out of Cape Town.

Shane was there for the harvest, by invitation, he has worked there before. After two grueling months of harvest here, in Santa Barbara, he took advantage of another two grueling months there. Having a globe with two hemispheres allows for many unexpected opportunities.

He is returning just in time to bottle all that wine he made last fall and he has promised photos and descriptions. Stay tuned.

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

Curtis Vineyard 2010 Petit Verdot

2010-petit-verdot-wgPetit Verdot is a small dark berry that when ripened properly, will produce intensely full bodied red with bold spice notes and high tannin.

Though its origins are not clear, most sources agree that the varietal predates Cabernet Sauvignon, making it a staple in most Bordeaux Blends.

The varietal has been used much less in France over the last few decades as it ripens slowly and cannot always fully mature in Bordeaux’s cool fall season.

Petit Verdot has become quite attractive to New World growers that can allow for longer hang time.

Winemaker’s comment: Curtis Vineyard is in the north central Santa Ynez Valley where warm temperatures permit these grapes to mature to their full potential. The grapes are deeply pigmented producing an unusually dark wine.

While excellent now this vintage will only improve over the years.

Suggested retail:30.00/750ml
To order:

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