Martian Ranch & Vineyard in Los Alamos

One of the coolest things about living in LA is how close we are to Santa Barbara wine country.  Last weekend, Brandon and I randomly hopped in the car and headed north to Los Alamos.  With no real plan for the day, we ended up at Martian Ranch Vineyard after stopping at a couple of other tasting rooms.  The winery opened their tasting room to the public in October of last year.

The path to Martian Ranch's tasting room.
The path to Martian Ranch’s tasting room

We arrived at the property and crossed a charming bridge to arrive at the tasting room.  The tasting room is open, airy, and the kind of place you want to hang out in for a while.  We were welcomed immediately as we walked in by a tasting room associate named John.  As we worked our way through the first few wines, we were thoroughly impressed with the Albariño and the Grenache Blanc.  Martian Ranch’s 2013 Uforic Albariño ended up being one of our favorite wines of the tasting with its vibrant notes of citrus, minerals and apricot.

Martian Ranch Uforic Grenache Blanc
Martian Ranch Uforic Grenache Blanc

After we finished through the white wines on the list,  John offered to take on a tour of the property.  We hopped on a utility/off-road vehicle and went for a 30 minute scenic tour through the vineyards.  Martian’s property is absolutely gorgeous.  The dirt roads are lined with vineyards and there is even a beautiful pond that wine club members can picnic around.  In the midst of all the beauty, it was hard not to notice the effects of the drought all around us though.  The vines were the only green that stood out in acres of struggling plant life.

Touring the property
Touring the property
The beautiful vineyards
The beautiful vineyards
Where the magic happens
Where the magic happens

After the tour, we headed back into the tasting room and went through the lineup of red wines.  The newly released 2013 Absolute Magnitude Gamay Noir is outstanding.  Light, bright and really hard to put down.  We wrapped up our tasting with the Gravitas Tempranillo.  The biggest wine of the tasting list yet it is still balanced with lots of dark fruit and licorice.

Martian Ranch Tempranillo
Martian Ranch Gravitas Tempranillo

I have to say that Martian Ranch ranks among one of the best tasting experiences I have had in Santa Barbara wine country.  The wines are well-made and well-priced, the property is beautiful, and the staff was so accommodating.  Definitely put it on the top of your list next time you visit!

For more info, visit Martian Ranch & Vineyard.

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Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Blanc

If you read my blog regularly, you will notice I am a fan of Two Shepherds wines. Winemaker William Allen has a way of producing pure, delicious wines that captivate my palate.  His newly released 2012 Grenache Blanc is no exception.  It is 100% Grenache Blanc from Saarloos Vineyard in Santa Ynez.  It has 13.5% alcohol and sells for around $24 a bottle.

Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Blanc
Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Blanc

Tasting Notes

This wine opens with aromas of green apples and orange blossom.  The palate is smooth and has incredible texture.  There are notes of lime, green apples, and honeydew with racing acidity and hints of minerality.  This wine is bright, refreshing, and delicious.  I would grab a few bottles before it sells out (and trust me, it will).

My Wine Rating – A-

Food Pairing Suggestions – Very food friendly.  Pair with shellfish, ceviche, or grilled chicken.

http://twoshepherdsvineyards.com/

 

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