Tag Archives: Santa Barbara Wine

The Best Wine Destinations: JvB UnCorked on Snooth

5 Mar

So Snooth.com included JvBUnCorked in their latest piece on Enotourism (for those who are rolling your eyes, that’s wine tourism: experiencing wines at or near their source). Here’s the link to the piece, my contribution is short and sweet for a change, on page 14 (they are listed in alphabetical order, and I wrote about Santa Barbara, California!)

If you enjoy wine but have not visited a winery, it is high time to plan a trip! Walking through rows of vines, chatting with workers, doing a tasting on premises- nothing else gives you a sense of the wine’s terroir as much as visiting the source. I’m currently looking forward to my wine travels later this year when I take a break for my crazy life working in entertainment and spend some time taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of the vineyards and the tasting tables.

My Most Favorite Wine Vacation

Without a doubt, it was Sanford Winery in Santa Barbara County, California. This was the first time I was able to talk in-depth with winemaker Steve Fennel about his vineyard philosophy and methods, and view the bottling process up close. I even was able to taste the wine after cold filtration process. I learned far more about what goes in to making a wine, and how many choices are involved in the wine making process, than I’d ever learned before, from a group of people who love what they do with a dedicated passion.


Tasting after cold filtration with winemaker Augie at the Sanford Winery.




Grapes in hand


jvb barrel


Summerland Wine

10 Jul

While visiting Santa Barbara, I had an opportunity to do a tasting with Summerland Wine. Winemaker Etienne Terlinden seems to be quite busy, as they already have six wines from 2013 that include an orange muscat, a sauvignon blanc, a grenache rosé, a viognier, two pinot noir, a syrah, and a cabernet sauvignon, each of these wines is made from local grapes sourced from either Montery, Santa Barbara, or Paso Robles. In addition, they have a library of vintages from 2006-2012 that includes several single-vineyard chardonnay and pinots, a sparkling, and zinfandel. Here are some shots from my tasting, more notes are below!

grenache rose








Here is my hands-down favorite:

Summerland Cabernet Sauvignon,  Santa Barbara County, 2012. 


Deep purple color with violet edging. Nose of blue and black fruit, the scent of  alcohol burns off with more exposure to air, revealing vegetation and fresh cedar. In the mouth, the cab features boysenberry, blueberry, and black cherry fruit along with notes of dark chocolate, licorice, and a hint of potting soil on the upper and back palate. The nice, lingering finish is one more element of this wine that complements food well. Note: all of the Summerland wines have high alcohol content, the cab is no exception with 14.1%ABV.


I was also impressed by two other wines, the 2012 single vineyard pinot noir from Wolff Vineyard, as well as their 2012 “Trio”, a mix of syrah, grenache and mouvedre grapes, which is Summerland’s take on the classic Rhône style wine. Summerland has a little of something for everyone, it seems. I’d love to see their Cab or Trio in a 3L large format bottling, which seems to be popular for their single vineyard pinots. A note for pinot lovers, I much preferred the older vintages I tasted,  -they felt settled, while younger vintages seemed like they still needed time to blend- so age may be a determining factor in your enjoyment. YMMV.

wolf pinot trip


à votre santé!


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