Wine Award Dec 6

Wine Award Dec 6

Mike Stephens
Mike Stephens
News Reporter
For California Ag Today, I’m Mike Stephens

Santa Barbara County wins Wine Region of Year Award from Wine Enthusiast Magazine

If Santa Barbara County’s 2021 wine grape harvest produces the exceptionally high quality that vintners and industry experts are expecting, it will add more veracity to the county’s selection for the Wine Region of the Year Award from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Described as a “wine lover’s paradise,” the county beat out California’s Lake County as well as Marlborough, New Zealand; Provence, France; and Western Cape, South Africa, to capture the prize for the best wine region in Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Award program.

Santa Barbara County rose to the top due, in part, to the many varietals produced in its diverse microclimates and its unique geography valleys that run west to east, rather than north to south, allowing the inflow of cool Pacific air to moderate temperatures.

The magazine also cited the county’s “thriving culinary scene,” its cultural core in a “cosmopolitan seaside city” and a diversity of tasting experiences, from lavish estates and cozy cottages to urban warehouses and waterfront tables.

Its leadership in sustainability is home to some of the country’s first organic and regenerative vineyards. Mild weather throughout the growing season, as well as a lack of frost, strong winds and rain in the spring, allowed a good set in all varieties, which was followed by a summer with few heat spells or other extreme weather.

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