With the refrain of 1970s Peter Allen song “Everything Old Is New Again” seemingly ringing in our ears, we were looking forward to visiting some of our old favorites in Santa Barbara County from the 1980s and 1990s while also exploring some new-to-us wineries. It turned out that our first stop was a little bit of both.
Mosby Winery and Vineyards was founded in 1977 by Bill Mosby in what is now known as the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara Country, just south of the Highway 101 exit to Buellton, with a focus on Italian varietals. When the Mosbys acquired the property, it carried the name of Rancho de la Vega, named as such in 1853 by its then owners Dr. Roman de la Cuesta and his wife Michaela Cota. The Mosbys originally kept the name Vega Vineyards but eventually changed it to Mosby Winery. Bill Mosby passed away in June 2020.
The property was acquired in 2022 by Karen and Jimmy Loizides, who had already made a name for themselves in the area with restaurants such as Sear Steakhouse and Maverick Saloon as well as K’Syrah Catering. They renamed the property Vega Vineyard and Farm, hearkening back to its original name and rich history. Bringing in acclaimed winemaker Steve Clifton, whose name you may recognize not only from Brewer Clifton but also as owner/winemaker of Italian varietal focused Palmina winery, was a great move. Note that Palmina has merged into Vega Vineyard and Farm.
We had the pleasure of sitting on the tasting patio and enjoying several of the wines that Steve Clifton made that are now under the Vega label.
2021 Albarino – Santa Maria Valley AVA. This 100% Albarino spent time in stainless steel and neutral oak. Citrus on the nose with peach and apricot notes. Lovely fruit finish and medium to full mouth feel.
2021 Pinot Grigio – Santa Barbara Country. This 100% Pinot Grigio was very crisp, lively and clean with grapefruit notes. Effervescent on the finish. This wine really presents as serious, unlike some other PGs out there.
2021 Bianco White Wine Blend – Santa Barbara County. This slightly untraditional Italian blend of Albarino, Vermentino and Marsanne spent time in neutral oak. It had nice acidity and was well balanced with a big mouth feel.
2021 Viognier – Santa Maria Valley AVA. This 100% Viognier only spent time in stainless steel. White flower on the nose with Meyer Lemon notes. A lovely mouth feel and very round and smooth.
2021 Vermentino – Los Olivos District AVA. Aged in neutral oak, the wine showed fruit such as Bosc pear notes. Medium acidity and a touch of minerality. Very pleasant mouth feel and finish.
2021 Pinot Noir – Sta. Rita Hills AVA. From Our Lady of Guadalupe vineyard, on the western end the AVA near Lompoc. Big plummy red fruit on nose. Cinnamon and clove notes with a medium mouth feel and finish.
2021 Barbera – Santa Ynez Valley AVA. Bing cherry notes, excellent food wine and paired perfectly with the delicious Bacon and Caramelized Fennel Flatbread we had ordered. Low acidity and medium tannins with medium-to-full mouth feel and finish.
2019 Nebbiolo – Santa Barbara County. Raspberry and cranberry notes. Nice big tannins and a long, supple finish.
2020 Syrah – Ballard Canyon AVA. A warmer climate. Big black berry aromas with white pepper notes. Luscious mouth feel and finish.
We did not spend as much time as we wanted to explore the property; it is huge. They have a full kitchen for your dining pleasure as well as a petting zoo. Lunch options are available every day. A marketplace is in the works which will have picnic items, olive oil, candy, toys, etc. This is a spot for the whole family. They are going to be host of the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival on October 14, 2023 and the place will be rocking! Everyone in the family will have a great time; we sure did.
Vega Vineyard and Farm
9496 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton CA 93427
Michael and Karen Perlis have been pursuing their passion for wine for more than 30 years. They have had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show them the way and after a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as they possibly could, they had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Michael and Karen do their best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers.