Did you know there are over 50 sparkling wine producers in Santa Barbara County? And 10 of those are located in and around the charming, historic town of Los Olivos!
Not all of these local champagnes are available all the time (with some going to club members only), so we’ve compiled a list of those you can taste or buy now.
This is Fess Parker’s all bubbly, all the time tasting room with 3 sparklers on their tasting menu (open Friday – Monday only).
Blanc De Noirs: “The delicate, persistent bubbles and straw color with a hint of salmon are harbingers of great things to come. You will detect hints of brioche, ginger and lemon rind on the nose. The palate offers up gorgeous citrus and tangerine flavors tempered by mineral notes and a delicious yeasty/pastry dough element as a result of extended time laying en tirage.”
Brut Cuvée: “Benefitting from additional time en tirage, this is our most complex sparkling wine to date.”
Sparkling Grenache: “Our 2015 Sibling Bubblery is surprisingly refreshing despite its dark ruby color. Aromas of cranberry, red plum and baking spice are what you will encounter on the nose of this sparkling Grenache. The palate is loaded with juicy flavors of red plum and black raspberry made more delicious due to a hint of cinnamon. While Grenache is an unusual choice of varietal for a sparkling wine we can assure you that you will be better off for having put your preconceived notions aside and trying it. Enjoy!”
2016 Brut Rosé also coming soon!
This rosé of Grenache is crisp and fruity; just ask and they will pour you a taste!
From Blair: “The 2014 Foxy Bubbles were disgorged, capped and labeled the last week of December 2016 of this year after resting in bins on their secondary fermentation lees for over twenty months. The lees add complexity and give the sparkling Grenache rosé a nice biscuity aroma and flavor to go along with the beautiful fruit flavors of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry. Every bottle has been touched at least 10 times from bottling, riddling and disgorging!”
The 2017 is coming out soon, but you can still buy older vintages now.
Carhartt now offers a sparkling rosé of Grenache made in a the méthod ancestral, creating a wine called Pét-Nat, or pétillant naturel. Try it in their new location in town!
Note: Pétillant Naturel, or Pét-Nat, is an even more ancient way to make sparkling wine than the widely-used méthod traditionelle or méthod champenoise originated in Champagne, France. In the méthod ancestral, the wine is bottle before it even finishes its first fermentation, so developing carbon dioxide as it goes. It’s not disgorged, often unfiltered and can be made from any grape variety.
Community Craft doesn’t make its own sparkling wine, but it carries local cult favorites Flying Goat (Goat Bubbles), Loubud Blanc de Blancs, Solminer Pét-Nat and Combe Pét-Nat (from the Trousseau grape, a join project between Rajat Parr and Pete Stolpman).
Sparkling Riesling from Coquelicot is available now! Made in the Méthode-Champenoise by hand, the wine is made from organic grapes in their Solvang vineyard.
In addition to still wine and hard cider, this effort from Brittany Zotovich also includes another Pét-Nat sparkling wine, “Desert Flower” Sparkling Verdejo.
From Brittany: “Passion fruit, white peach, saison, poached pineapple, and melon. This is our second ever Pét-nat! Pétillant Naturel is a wine that is bottled before it has fully finished fermenting and sealed with a screw cap. The wine continues to ferment, building pressure with the conversion of sugar to alcohol and C02 resulting in some pretty awesome BUBBLES.”
Also available are 2 other Pét-Nat sparkling wines: Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, and Sparkling Riesling.
From Andrew: “Our sparkling wine is crafted in the age-old Méthode-Champenoise style. This Blanc de Blanc Bubbly is 100% Chardonnay has aromas of toasty brioche, citrus, and tropical notes, with a balanced, yet bracing, natural acidity and a very fine mousse.”
At Roblar, you can taste both the classic Sparkling Blanc de Blancs (Pinot Blanc) and Sparkling Rosé (Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc), and buy them by the glass or bottle. These wines are sourced and made in Sonoma County.
From Roblar: “Roblar extra dry sparkling wine is crafted from grapes grown at the Michel-Schlumberger Benchland Estate Vineyard in Sonoma County. This sparkling wine was produced by inducing in-bottle secondary fermentation and a minimum of 12 months of aging using the traditional méthode champenoise to create the tiny bubbles and complex flavors. It will continue to develop as it ages.”
Solminer is the newest tasting room in Los Olivos, and is located at the flagpole at the center of town, in the same building at Kanea Wines (just north of the post office).
Solminer makes 3 different Pét-Nats as well. The Sparkling Rosé of Syrah is exceptionally bubbly, and has a lovely earthy and fruity flavor. Their Sparkling Riesling offers something different to bubbly lovers – it is dry and citrusy, also floral with delicate bubbles.
They also make “Nebullite” Sparkling Syrah: “Whether there is a new star forming or simply a family holiday, certainly a champagne glass filled with the swirling, fizzing cosmos of red sparkling Syrah is intriguing and worthy of any celebration, large or small.”
Vincent has a very dry Blanc de Blancs-style Brut bubbly made from 100% Chardonnay. It is available by the glass and if you ask for a taste, you’ll probably get one. These wines are sourced and made in Sonoma County. Vincent is also open on New Year’s Day.
Zinke has a fun sparkler from sister label Friend & Foe. It’s great for a large toast with pals, or even to make some simple sparkling wine cocktails! This wine is sourced and made in Sonoma County.
The Best Desserts in Los Olivos
What better to eat with sparkling wine than desserts? Here are the best desserts in Los Olivos:
- Stafford’s Chocolates – These chocolates and confections are handmade daily and blend in nuts and flavors grown locally in the San Joaquin and Santa Ynez Valleys. Try their mouth-watering truffles, caramels, English toffees, creams, and countless delectable, and adorable, chocolates.
- Enjoy Cupcakes – Located at Saarloos & Sons tasting room, these cupcakes are made daily, some with wine right in the frosting! Buy a 6-pack sampler of mini cupcakes at Saarloos & Sons to try them all! Flavor examples are Chocolate Blackberry Syrah, Lemon Lime Chardonnay, Black Bottom, Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, S’mores and Candied Pecan Toffee Banana Fosters.
- Sorbet from Sides Hardware & Shoes – all the desserts at Sides are really good, but the sorbet is truly amazing, especially the dark chocolate sorbet…just ask for it if you don’t see it on the menu.