Wine tasting in a ghetto? It doesn’t sound like the normal grandeur that accompanies wine, but in this windswept corner of Santa Barbara County, the Lompoc Wine Ghetto has become a mecca for world-class, artisan wine production. Stripped down to the bare essentials, this industrial park maze, all asphalt and aluminum, spotlights the wine, in all of its intensity and raw charm, not adorned with wine country couture. Small lots of vibrant Pinot Noir that resonates fruit and savory notes and juicy Chardonnay that makes your mouth water for more are the highlights here.
A petition to extend the eastern boundaries of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA was recently submitted to TTB by Patrick Shabram. The Sta. Rita Hills AVA lies within the larger Santa Ynez Valley AVA, an east-west transverse valley with a continuum of climatic and geological features influenced by its opening to the Pacific Ocean. The current and original AVA boundaries were carefully and exhaustively determined in 2001 by the original petitioners based on patterns of daily oceanic fog and temperature data. The eastern boundary to the AVA is a north-south range of hills that alters the sea fog pattern and brings an increase in daily temperatures moving east from this boundary. In the opinion of the original petitioners and the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance (SRHWA), it is imperative that the cool-climate environment for winegrowing is maintained. A study of the data in the petition submitted by Mr. Shabram will be reviewed by the Alliance Board, but at this time the SRHWA stands by the integrity of the original and current boundaries.