|Wines for sale|
We’ve been members of Jaffurs Wine Cellars in Santa Barbara for a few years now. They’re a small-production, high-quality vintner who makes hand-crafted Rhone varietal wines. Their full spectrum of offerings pleases both our palates. I can’t get enough of the Rousanne and Viognier, and John likes the Syrah and red blends. I’ll even drink the Grenache (this is no reflection of the quality of their wines, just that I’m a novice red wine drinker).
We were first introduced to Jaffurs wines at one of our favorite Santa Barbara restaurants, Seagrass, and sought them out knowing they were onto something unique. Living where we do, we are close enough to a large number of wineries, from San Diego to Paso Robles, to visit them on a day-trip. We’ve traveled to Napa Valley and Monterey to taste wines as well. Since our individual preferences are so different, we love to find a winery that satisfies both of our palates. What I’m trying to say is John is a far more knowledgeable and sophisticated wine drinker than me.
Every time we visit Jaffurs to pick up our wine club shipments, it’s like stopping by a friend’s house. They are so down to earth and truly appreciative of their wine club members. We’ve been to wine-tasting rooms where we’ve been condescended to, talked to like kindergartners, and completely ignored. So it’s always nice to stop by the Jaffurs tasting room where they’re happy to see us.
Last year, we participated in a winemaker’s dinner that featured Jaffurs’ wines at Cecco Ristorante in Solvang where the chef prepared a special four-course meal to complement wines poured into our glasses by Craig Jaffurs and Dave Yates. It was great to talk to them about their wines while enjoying amazing Italian and California cuisine.
|Surfboards mounted on the ceiling!|
This is the first year we’ve participated in the barrel tasting, and although, I’m not enough of a wine geek to know what people mean when they call a wine “chewy,” or “leathery,” I enjoyed the experience immensely. It was educational and experiential. The winemakers allowed us to taste individual wines, then blends, explaining where each set of grapes came from, and how they were transformed into the wines we tasted. We started with the 2010 High Tide (did I mention all the surfboards hanging on the walls & ceiling?) which is a GSM blend (see, I do know a couple of things!) – that’s a mix of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre! This was a final blend that was poured from the bottle.
Following that taste, we sampled two 2011 Grenaches – one from a single vineyard, and one a blend from grapes of three. Then, a 2011 Grenache/Syrah blend, a pure Syrah, a pure Mourvedre, then the proposed blend for the 2011 High Tide. Although my wine didn’t “jump right out of the glass,” it was really cool to understand where and how the grapes are grown, what influences their growth and ripeness, and how they are transformed into wonderful, drinkable wines! And, of course, getting to taste them before anyone else!
|And a good time was had by all!|
If you’re looking for a low-key, worthwhile experience with a variety of delicious wines, we highly recommend stopping by Jaffurs Wine Cellars! They even look for volunteers to help with the harvest in autumn.
Thanks, Craig, Dave, Matt, and Steven, for a fun, educational, and memorable experience!