Stopped by Buellton the other day to check out Dragonette Cellars’ new(ish) digs. They’ve moved their wine making facilities into what was once Sanford’s first winery….so kinda historic! I tasted through some barrels with winemaker Brandon Sparks-Gillis. I first came across Dragonette for research on the Happy Canyon AVA in Edible, and quite liked the sauvignon blanc they’re making from the hottest sub-region of Santa Barbara.
This time however, it was the soon to be released grenache that interested me most… unexpectedly from Santa Rita Hills, a region known mostly for Burgundian varietals, Pinot and Chard.
The 2012 John Sebastiano Vineyard Grenache (in Santa Rita Hills) as well as the Thompson Vineyard (which is in fact in Los Alamos Hills) are usually blended by Dragonette, but this time they are seriously thinking about bottling them individually, which personally I think is the way to go. Dragonette has a tasting room in Los Olivos – 2445 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441 805-693-0077
By the way, I hadn’t realized the guys at Dragonette had been consulting and making Liquid Farm’s wines for the past few vintages. So, should probably get some deserved praise for all those high scores and mentions…..I think they’ve taken a considerable step back now that Liquid Farm has its own rented place next door.
The whole reason why I went to Dragonette was because another winemaker Mike Roth had invited me down. Mike has recently left his post at Martian Vineyards and is going solo under his own label Lo-Fi, he’s renting a corner of Dragonette’s winery. If you’ve tasted any of Mike’s wines or spent even a minute chatting with him you’ll know he draws a lot of his inspiration from Beaujolais and the natural side of winemaking…and that will be his focus with Lo-Fi.
He will soon be releasing a Cab Franc and with what could be called one of the most awesome label’s I’ve come across. It’ll retail at $25.
Just a note – Buellton is fast becoming an urban wine destination in it’s own right, although places like Lucas & Lewellen have always been there, other wineries like Dragonette, Margerum and Roark are posting stakes.