Was recently invited by fellow wine writer and organizer of the #LAWineWriters group, Cori Solomon, for a road trip to Lompoc. It had been awhile since our group had met but Cori found a winery she liked that was most willing to set up for us outside and socially distanced for a tasting. The winery is Camins2Dreams and this is their story.
“Wife and wife” winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo Tena share the Camins 2 Dreams winery. Some of us had already tasted wines made by Gomez, as she is also the winemaker at Kita. The pair make wines, starting with their flagship Gruner Veltliner and Syrah, only in a natural style. Cori hinted that “Tara and Mireia have a good story.”
We quickly learned that the pair has years of winemaking experience between them. Gomez got her Enology degree and began making wine at J Lohr (where the two met) and Fess Parker before starting Kalawashaq’ Wine Cellars (the winery name is the same as the village her Chumash forefathers lived in). Fast forward to taking some time away to make wine in Spain, specifically at Castell d’Encus, where Tena was the winemaker. Tena also has an Enology degree, and went back to school to earn a Masters in Enology, Viticulture and Marketing of Wine.
The pair started Camins 2 Dreams in 2017, making wines from Sta. Rita Hills vineyards that focus on 100% natural bottling, not filtered or fined, all foot stomped, no new oak barrels (their new standard) and only add SO2 (a wine preservative) just before bottling. Their first production was a mere three barrels.
“We have to adjust for each vintage…it’s difficult to be consistent. So the focus is on the vineyard,” the pair shared. They “respect the land and want (their) vineyards to be SIP certified.” Look for newcomers Grenache and Graciano in their lineup.
Tasting (Notes on aromas and flavors were provided, I will only comment on those that I noted as remarkable.)
We started with a 2019 Gruner Veltliner that was a big hit with the group. Noted: pear, green apple, freshness, acidity and it worked as the perfect palate cleanser for the tasting. At the end of the tasting we were treated to a refreshing Pet Nat of their Gruner Veltliner which is described by Wine Enthusiast as “Pét-nat, or Méthode Ancestrale, is a method of sparkling wine production used all over the world. … After a period of rest that can be as short as a couple of months…”
After the white wine we moved over to their pink, a 2019 Rose of Syrah that had been made in the saignee method with nearly zero skin contact and completely fermented in stainless steel. We notes strawberries, Rainier cherries, pomegranate with a crisp finish that I thought would lend itself well to a nice picnic with cold fried chicken.
Then we started on their many Syrah wines: 2017 Zotovich Vineyard, which was their first, which had a lovely blueberry nose, tannins and long finish – my favorite of the Syrahs. A 2018 Zotovich had a lovely balance and a bit lighter to me than the 2017. The 2018 Spear Vineyards had a medium body, black fruit and a decent amount of acidity that I felt was due to its youth. We finished for with a 2018 JSB (from the John Sebastiano Vineyard) that had been bottled just two weeks prior, and a red table wine that was a combination of both 2018 and 2019 Syrah from all three vineyards: JSB, Pear and Zotovich.
My takeaway: If you seek natural wines Camins 2 Dreams is not to be missed.
Camins 2 Dreams
313 North F St, Lompoc, CA.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.