Summerland Winery may have a tasting room in the beautiful village by the same name just south of Santa Barbara and Montecito, yet its wines reflect the diversity of grapes, soils, and climates all over the Central Coast. From Monterey to Santa Barbara County, the symphony of coastal and valley climates cultivate different grapes for their very different characteristics and personalities. For example, Pinot Noir thrives in coastal climates where its thin skin doesn’t get too sunburned and it cools at night. Yet, the thicker skinned king of grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon loves scorching hot valley temps to build its big robust flavors.
The people at Summerland Winery begin your tasting with a lively nutty Pinot Blanc bathed in honeysuckle. It calls for equally nutty cheeses like Pecorino or Asiago. Its citrus rind balances its acidity, making it a delicious pairing for light seafood or poultry. Their rose of Grenache from Paso Robles has a bright ripe red fruit body full of strawberries and tart cherries with a hint of roasted nuts. Paso is one of those hot climates that grapes like Grenache adore for bringing it these vibrant fruit flavors. Their Sauvignon Blanc from the coastal winds of Monterey County begins with a cool crisp citrus body and a creamy texture that lingers. This harmony of textures makes it a great pairing for spicy Thai or tart crisp salad dishes with a bit of pepper and spice.
Their Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills exemplifies how this coastal region enriches this grape. Its big bright dark cherry and even blueberry with a whiff of earth and textures of clove and spice have as much character as their vine tender, Kathy Joseph. Their Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles is approachable and bright with a bit of a grassy texture that will calm over time. Its lovely body and velvety finish show what this grape does in the warm Paso climate. Finally, their Syrah from Paso Robles has many layers from brambly to earthy with plenty of plump juicy fruit. This is the big daddy to serve with any hearty meaty dishes.