The Sta. Rita Hills Wine Alliance presented Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other cool climate varieties at the Wine House in Los Angeles this past week. Guests were told not to “…miss this opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones and see what is up in the Hills!” And, in my usual form, those with short attention spans can get their fill in this 1 minute YouTube slideshow from the event.
For a change, and because this was going to be a tasting of only a select group of winegrowers, I made an effort to visit every table…but I didn’t drink everything as some (Brewer-Clifton, Crawford, Clos Pepe and Longoria) I had recently tasted at other events and from home.
I’d have to say that all, again for a change, were a hit with me. I may not have loved every wine from every winery but I did love at least 1-2 wines from most. This was a first for me. My takeaway notes from most are below. Sorry to the very few that I did miss!
Participating Wineries For Trade
AVE Wines – Loved at a recent STARS tasting but this was my chance to try three “above 90 pointers” from their Pinot program. Well done.
Brewer – Clifton – Already a fan of this rock star winemaker.
Clos Pepe – I always love seeing the hard-working Andrew Turner with the Pinot that, in my opinion, put Sta. Rita Hills on the map.
Crawford Family – Love seeing Mark Horvath, and his wines never disappoint as well.
Fess Parker – Busy table with lots of great Pinots, as it’s been doing for years.
Fiddlehead Cellars – Been a fan for a while, well done wines.
Flying Goat Cellars– Loved the “Goat Bubbles” for its great fruit, cheese and toast notes.
Foxen Winery – Nice Pinots, and killer 2014 Chenin Blanc.
Hilliard Bruce Vineyard and Winery
Hitching Post Wines– One of publicist Jannis Swerman’s favorites, her marketing helps me not to forget about this long-standing respected winery.
Ken Brown Wines– Classic Pinots as usual: Encantada Vineyard and Rita’s Crown Vineyard were my choices.
Kessler-Haak Vineyard – Fun 2014 Rose of Pinot Noir and a nice 2014 Chardonnay as well. And they did sneak in a bottle of 2013 Syrah that was great.
Longoria Wine – It was nice to see Richard Longoria with his impressive Pinots at the event. (I’m a former club member and have met with him at his Lompoc Ghetto tasting room.)
Montemar – Followed wine pal Marla Hofstee to this table, plenty of vintages to try and enjoy.
Pali Wine Company – Loved at least two of their Pinots: Huber Vineyard and Summit!
Prodigal Wines – Had to agree with Wine Enthusiast: the 2013 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir was well deserving of its 93 points.
Purisima – Loved the Zotovich Vineyard 2015 Chardonnay!
The Hilt – Their fun wine rep walked me through a few nicely made Pinots.
Wan Fiore Project – The first table I stopped at, I recall liking the 2013 La Encantada the most. The winery name is a blend of the names of two brothers-in-law, one named Wan, the other, Fiore.
If you are a Pinot Noir and/or Chardonnay fan you MUST plan a visit. Start here: http://www.staritahills.com