Published February 19, 2014

The funk zone, now referred to as the “Urban Wine Trail,” is worth a trip to appreciate how these buildings have been restored and revitalized. But stroll through downtown Santa Barbara for a different wine tasting experience. Grassini Family Vineyards are located in Happy Canyon within the Santa Ynez Valley where they benefit from warm sunny days and cool nights without as much coastal influence as the rest of Santa Barbara County. Here’s where Bordeaux varietals flourish.

They begin a tasting flight with a traditional Sauvignon Blanc that has lots of lively citrus and a bit of grassy minerality. A pretty long finish makes this wine ideal for a picnic or barbecue. Their next Sauvignon Blanc could not be more different. Called Equipo, meaning to work as a team, this wine was made by their full time vineyard workers. It has more stone fruit of apricot, guava and a bit of lime from 10% in stainless steel and 90% in oak. Its balance and long finish may entice you but its story will inspire; all the proceeds of this wine are returned to the vineyard team that tended these beautiful vines.

Most know Bordeaux for its big bold Cabernets and Grassini’s represents what this grape is capable of in this region. Elegant tannins and big Bing cherry form a balance with slightly creamy layers of chocolate and dates. Finally, their Articondo shows off what Merlot can do in this happiest of canyons along with some help from Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. Its lush lively cherry and berry flavors dance with a bit of smoke and the soft feel of supple leather.


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