Saturday, November 7, 2009

Near Santa Barbara, California's new wine country

I know why it's called Happy Canyon. It's because this little corner of Santa Barbara wine country, in the east end of the Santa Ynez Valley, has just become California's newest AVA (American Viticultural Area). On the Los Padres side of Highway 154, this broad, sunny cleft is home to horse ranches and hillside vineyards.

To become an AVA, a wine region has to be significantly different from other winegrape growing areas, and Happy Canyon qualifies: hotter temps, less fog, and a mineral terroir (serpentine soil lace with high magnesium content) make it distinctive. It's also pretty small, with just six major vineyards and two active wineries (a third is due next year), but note: none offer public tasting.

Still, you can make your own tasting tour of their wines (mostly Bordeaux-styles), by visiting winetasting rooms like those listed below. Or visit the better known area Santa Barbara wine regions. And don't miss Santa Barbara's downtown Urban Wine Trail, with stops at eleven wine hotspots. Happy now?

Details: Taste Happy Canyon wines in Santa Barbara at the soon-to-open The Alliance tasting room at the Wine Cask Wine Shop and the Star Lane/Dierberg tasting room in rural Lompoc. Happy Canyon labels to look for: 3CV Wines, Barrack, Chukker, Cimarone, Edge, Piocho, Star Lane and Vogelzang. Want to make a weekend wine touring in the area? Check out the lodging deals, dining, and shopping info at the Santa Barbara Visitors Bureau website.

No comments:

COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

NOTE: This blog uses Google AdSense to provide relevant advertising for its readers.
Google may track browser habits to provide the best ads based on your preferences.