Our next stop was at another long-time legend with a new name...Alma Rosa. Richard Sanford was the first to plant Pinot Noir in what is now the Sta Rita Hills, in 1970 at the famous Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Sanford had studied Geography, and he could see this was a prime area for winegrapes (although no one else had thought it before). He went on to found Sanford Winery and make beautiful wines for many years. Now, having lost that venture to the Terlato Group, Richard and his wife Thekla are making good wine once more.
Here are some photos of the new/old tasting room on Santa Rosa Road:
We tasted the 2007 Santa Barbara County Pinot Gris, a delicious, bright wine; and the 2006 Sta Rita Hills Pinot Blanc, which I especially enjoyed. The 2008 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay was next, with citrus and pineapple flavors, a touch of malolactic and just a bit of oak. This wine won accolades from the Wine Spectator...at only $19 it's a great buy! And finally we tasted the delicious 2007 Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
Although Alma Rosa has been back at this spot for a while, it was the first opportunity we had had to visit. It's good to see them back and prospering at this lovely location!