Santa Barbara Field Trip!

Today I am looking at two wineries that own NO vineyards. All the fruit is purchased. These wineries are able to produce high-quality wines every year. Small, thoughtful wineries are going away en másse but these folks continue to blend passion and knowledge into some of my personal favorites.
Whitcraft Winery

Our first stop is Whitcraft Winery. Superb wines made with minimal intervention. A true tasters paradise awaits those brave enough to go five blocks away from the heart of the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail. The styles are so old-school that they may seem revolutionary to the uninitiated. Wine for wine nerds, if I may. The photo above is from Sideways. [Don’t let that stop you from drinking these wines!]
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah are the best-known varietals for this family- owned winery.

Chris and Kathleen (Barnato) Whitcraft started Whitcraft Winery in 1985. This was not, however, Chris’ first entry into the wine business, as he had hosted a local wine radio program in Santa Barbara County for more than ten years before that, and had in the process learned from some of the best winemakers in California. They include Joe Heitz (Heitz Cellars), Dick Graff (Founded Chalone and AVA’s), and Burt Williams (Williams & Selyem, and now Morning Dew Ranch) to name a few. What began as a hobby grew into both a passion and a lifestyle, the commitment to which is present to this day in every bottle of our wine.

Whitcraft Tasting
This was the tasting line-up when I was there. Oh so good! Do yourself a favor and try some of these awesome wines today! I try to always a couple bottles on hand. You can contact Whitcraft directly. Tasting room open 11-4. Always call to confirm.
I picked up these goodies last time I visited…
Whitcraft 3-Bottles

Whitcraft Winery
36 A S. Calle Cesar Chavez
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 730-1680

Jaffurs Syrah & Petite Syrah
Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Just a couple blocks from the ocean is Jaffurs, which sits in a cozy neighborhood. What that means is you can get some awesome beach wines…at the beach. Superb Rhone varietals are all they deal with here. “What about the white wine for mommy at the beach?”…well, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Viognier…all so good! The single-vineyard wines are truly special. Always worth seeking out, to be sure. And the reds are almost too good; I almost don’t want to say another word about them… Truthfully, I am relieved when I see Jaffurs on a wine list. When I stopped in this was the display available:
Jaffurs Display

I wish I had room in my cellar for two of each! Everything was wonderful and Dave Yates [GM and assistant winemaker] was so knowledgeable and kind. It’s hard to stay excited about anything for after twenty years yet here they are, proudly displaying their wares and know-how in a fun, approachable and delicious way. For the Petite Sirah fans reading this, let me address you directly. CALL/EMAIL THESE GUYS AND ORDER SOME TODAY! Serious tooth-staining juice with the ability to make anyone smile wide. And if you have been good all year, maybe Santa will bring you some of the Upslope Syrah.

Jaffurs Wine Cellars
819 E. Montecito St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
PHONE & FAX (805) 962-7003