It’s the anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday, and the gran sommelier himself, Lenn of Lenndeavors, is playing host for this edition numero 12. His theme of choice, Drink Local, Real Local, just so happens to coincide with the Eat Local Challenge; though embarassingly, I have not been participating because, well, Doritos don’t grow on trees in LA.
Lenn’s theme isn’t difficult per se, for even though So Cal is a good six hour drive from the amazingness known as Napa Valley, everyone who’s anyone has seen the movie and knows that we are but a slightly drunken drive up the 101 along the coast to Santa Barbara’s wine country. Technically, it’s not Santa Barbara, the coastal city that inspired the day time soap opera I used to watch religiously in junior high. It’s Santa Barbara County, dotted with wine making towns off Highway 246: Buellton, Solvang (yes! windmills, waffle cones, and wine!), Los Olivos.
But here’s where Lenn’s theme is difficult. Santa Barbara, which include some better known wineries like Fess Parker and that one that belongs to the family of that ridiculous bachelor, Firestone, is 219.4 miles away from my humble abode, according to gmaps. Just 105.9 miles to the southeast, lies the Temecula Valley, a small but growing wine region in what used to be a wasteland between LA and San Diego. That’s like *gasp!* the IE. The Inland Empire. Who knew?
And here’s the stickiest part of all. Technically, the most local wine producing region to me is actually right here! In LA! 17.1 miles away, just off the 110, north of downtown LA, it’s the San Antonio Winery, that produces the Riboli family of wines. I know. A winery in LA? I mean really now, who knew?!?
Unfortunately, I fail this WBW, because my tasting is not from the San Antonio Winery, less than 20 miles away. (But remember, this is LA we’re talking about. Twenty miles, especially on the around that downtown loop of road rage, takes at leats 55 minutes *chuckle* and that’s on a good day, like Tuesday at 3 am. *grr*) I didn’t even taste a wine from Temecula. No, this is a 2003 Sauvignon Blanc from Foley Estates, in Santa Barbara. Hey, what can I say? It was a weekend roadtrip (more details on another day), and I wasn’t driving :)
Foley Estates was our first stop after filling up the tank in Solvang *raises fist to Heaven for the $$$ we spent per gallon* You see, unlike Napa and Sonoma wine countries, which offer winery after winery along a mostly straight shot along a single highway, the Santa Barbara wine country trail is long and convoluted through hills and valleys. It’s quite a drive. The small, modest, sometimes hidden entrances to neighboring wineries can be miles apart. We almost sped past Foley going the speed limit along Alamo Pintado Road.
Certainly, every winery that offers consumer tastings to market and sell their wine is beautiful, set deep in a wooded area, or high atop a hill overlooking verdant vineyards. But Foley Estates is especially gorgeous, so much that even couples and groups that weren’t there for tasting Foley bring baskets and picnic right there on the broad, shaded patio.
In the glass, Foley 2003 Sauvignon Blanc is such a pale yellow that I could almost call it a deep ivory, if there were such a thing. There was just the faintest bit of green, but who knows, that might have been the natural light reflecting off the vines outside, coming in through the windows or perhaps I caught the edge of a wayward tourist’s olive drab Gap khakis in my glass. Either way, it was very lightly colored.
I did the *sniff* but here is where my rookie-self takes over. Shall I lie and come up with all these wonderful words to describe...overtones of citrus, undertones of herbs, more specifically fresh mown grass, with an almost imperceptible hint of lily of the valley? No, I can’t. I’m not there yet (but I’ll get there!). Besides, that would all be totally wrong anyway, according to the winemaker’s notes LOL! To me, it just smelled like...wine. Very light, very happy, singing-in-the-shower, fruity wine.
It tastes, in one word, delicious. I loved it. Just like it looks, this sauvignon blanc is light and crisp as air, with something that makes me pucker in a good way. I will say that though I couldn’t smell it, I could definitely taste grapefruits. If wine were a kiss, and deep dark reds are like a long luscious, passionate dewy-eyed good-bye French kiss wrapped in velvet, this sauvignon blanc is a giddy, smiling, peck peck peck of a whimsical citrus hello. I could have drank the whole bottle; just sat right there under the Califonia sun and drank every last refreshing drop of it.
Sensational. And only 219 miles away.
219 miles might get you through three states in some parts of this country, but it's still pretty local for southern California :)