Okay I have been a little enamored with this winery since seeing Keith Saarloos speak on the Wine Down. This is a family vineyard and the whole family works it. Bradley was pouring in the tasting room when we got there and was full of great and passionate information about the family the wine and the vineyards. The wines are named for someone in the family each year and all wines are individual to the vintage and are not meant to ever be recreated. The names include “Brielle” a fantastic Savignon Blanc named for Keith’s daughter; Hers a grenache blanc; His a Cabernet, Humble Harv a 100% grenache named for Keith’s dad and Big Larr a 100% syrah named for Bradley’s dad. 194d8 is a wine that is made new every year. The first year it was called 1945 for Keith’s grandparents anniversary. Each year they make a new blend and honor another year of their grandparents being together with a label complete with a photo of the happy couple from that year. The last wine we tasted was the Creed a 100% Petite Sirah. Oh…and did I mention that on Thursday through Sunday “Enjoy Cupcakes” is in the house with great cupcakes and a $10 pairing menu to go with the wines! Yeah! Totally Rocks! So I’ll try to remember the pairings. A Ginger Lime Chardonnay cupcake with the Brielle, (chardonnay cake, buttery ginger crust filled with a lime curd and topped with a lime frosting and sugared lime zest). I remember that the “His” went with the Chocolate Malt Milkshake with “fries” (chocolate cake filled with malt pudding topped with chocolate frosting and “fries”- that is shoestring style). Okay I can’t remember the rest…but…can you picture getting a little box with 6 miniature cupcakes and then walking over the to tasting bar and having them pour something to taste with each!? IT IS THE BEST! So Keith was not there but Bradley was amazing handling 8 guests at the tasting bar with ease and keeping us all informed and entertained! Larry came in while we were tasting and we all said hello. This is a very warm and welcoming tasting room. And after hearing the stories about the wines and the family you feel very much a part before leaving.
Enjoy the video with a little surf inspiration (Keith Saarloos is a surfer).
This tasting is from the Thursday of Labor day weekend this year. Sadly both Keith and Brad were out of the tasting room. Keith was down in LA doing a couple of tastings. I look forward to the day I finally meet him in person. None the less we enjoyed the cupcakes and the wine! Here’s the tasting and pairing menu for the day.
Peach fig chardonnay
Chardonnay cake, filled with peach fig butter, topped with sweet cream frosting & more peach fig butter. W/ Bride 2011 Grenache Blanc
Chocolate Blackberry Syrah
Chocolate Syrah cake, filled with dark chocolate fudge, topped with blackberry frosting and a Syrah soaked blackberry that’s rolled in sugar crystals
W/ Brother 2010 Syrah
Banana orange foster
Vanilla cinnamon cake, filled with bananas fried in butter & OJ, topped with orange buttercream. W/ Brotherhood 2010 GSM
Serrano chili chocolate
A chocolate cake filled with Serrano chili fudge, chocolate frosting with a Serrano chili soaked sugar crystals on the top.
W/ Courage 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Cinnamon Sugar Dulce de Leche
Vanilla cinnamon sugar cake, filled with vanilla bean pastry crème, topped with vanilla frosting & Dulce de Leche
W/ Extended Family Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2011
Chocolate cake, filled with house-made caramel, topped with salted peanut butter frosting, caramel and chocolate sauce & pinches of salt
This is a bonus cupcake to console you as you run out of wines to taste!
Check out both of their websites! Keith often posts great life philosophy in his unique voice and his commitment to family is unparalleled. The Enjoy Cupcakes site has stunning photography and just try to keep your mouth from watering as you stroll down the “flavors” page.
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