Santa Maria Valley
By Donna Polizzi
A Keys 2 the Coast favorite is Rancho Sisquoc Winery at 6601 Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria. Known for 40 years of crafting small batches of delicious, superior wines, in a setting that is unforgettable, are two of the many reasons that make this winery and tasting room a destination for wine and nature lovers.
With majestic mountains as the backdrop, 300 acres of grapes are grown on site for their estate wines. Imagine a dark, woodsy tasting room in a spectacular setting, surrounded by grassy areas for picnics. Pergola covered patios, canopied with grapevines and deep red leaves, create the perfect place to hang out with friends or have a picnic.
The Rancho Sisquoc tasting room is very inviting. We brought my daughter here for her 21st birthday and our jovial host took the time to show her how to do a “proper” tasting.
Two of many exceptional award-winning wines are the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a Double Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and the 2015 Riesling, which won the Gold Medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. “An interesting German varietal, the 2015 Sylvaner is one of my personal favorites. We believe that the only other winery that grows Sylvaner is the Scribe Winery in Sonoma. It has apricots, and honey on the nose”, stated Andy Scarff, our charming tasting room attendant.
This is one of the few wineries that I have visited that, in my opinion, is truly family-friendly. Although, I am not an advocate of taking kids wine tasting. Huge, green trees provide shade over picnic tables and grassy areas to lay out your blanket. The location is ideal. The drive is as scenic as it gets if you like rolling hills, green pastures, and miles of vineyards. It is a quiet country setting, where you can get away from noise, traffic and take in the serenity. Conversation, laughter and, on occasion, live music are the only sounds you will hear.
I encourage you to savor the history and live today to this fullest.
Wine, dine and explore