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Tara Jones

Tara Jones: With Growing Popularity of Local Rosé Wines, Santa Barbara County Is in the Pink

Move aside, France: Our local winemakers are making a name for themselves in the rosé game ... and they’re delicious

Jamie Slone Wines is one the Wine Collection of El Paseo’s smallest boutique wineries, producing approximately 800 cases per year. This strawberry-tinged rosé is sure to go fast! Click to view larger
Jamie Slone Wines is one the Wine Collection of El Paseo’s smallest boutique wineries, producing approximately 800 cases per year. This strawberry-tinged rosé is sure to go fast! (Tara Jones photo)

Gone are the days of the taboo rosé. This pink wine is on the rise to mainstream in Santa Barbara County.

Rosé got the bad rap for years as being a saccharine sweet wine that was both amatuerish and linked to the memory of waspy, suburban poolside scenes.

However, the rosé of today is sophisticated and often unrivaled on a hot summer day.

France has been producing award-winning rosé wines for years, and now Santa Barbara County has fully embraced the same lifestyle, making pink wines that are praiseworthy from even the snobbiest of French wine tasters.

You can bet your bottom dollar that this self-proclaimed wine snob will be sipping these new favorites this summer, sans the poolside scene.

2015 Star Lane Rosé of Malbec

While grenache rosés are par for the course in this neck of the woods, I found the malbec rosé from Star Lane to be surprisingly unique.

The unusual lime notes are incredibly refreshing and a welcome difference from the standard rosés of the region.

If the temperatures spike this summer, you’ll be glad to have a bottle of this wine waiting for you in the fridge.

Visit the Dierberg & Star Lane tasting room at 1280 Drum Canyon Road in Lompoc.

2015 Epiphany Grenache Rosé

The Fess Parker labels continues to impress.

I’ve written about their sister label, Bubble Shack, in the past and am now equally pleased with Epiphany’s creamy and indulgent grenache rosé.

Visit their tasting room at 2974 Grand Ave. in Los Olivos or check out the new tasting room inside The Fess Parker at 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

2014 Martellotto La Rosa Rosé

This striking wine, sourced from the popular Camp 4 Vineyard in the new Los Olivos district, is both memorable and intriguing.

The Fess Parker in Santa Barbara serves Epiphany and Fess Parker label wines in its new tasting room. Its grenache rosé is an indulgent treat perfect for summer. Click to view larger
The Fess Parker in Santa Barbara serves Epiphany and Fess Parker label wines in its new tasting room. Its grenache rosé is an indulgent treat perfect for summer. (Tara Jones photo)

A blend of 60 percent counoise and 40 percent cinsault is what makes this rosé so incredibly unique in flavor yet approachable and refreshing.

Visit the Martellotto tasting room at 65 Los Padres Way in Buellton.

2015 Kaena Grenache Rosé

If you’re looking for a pink wine that has a strong, lingering finish and one that will go well with dinner look no further than this grenache rosé.

I recently discovered this bold pinkie at Bell Street Farm, 406 Bell St. in Los Alamos, and was instantly smitten with how well it paired with meat, specifically the rotisserie pork sandwich.

Sip this one at the dinner table or with charcuterie this summer to fully enjoy its intensity.

Visit Kaena Wine Co. at 2890 Grand Ave. in Los Olivos.

2015 Jamie Slone Rosé

This zesty yet smooth and approachable light-pink wine has been a favorite of mine to keep on hand for guests.

The strawberry notes and bright acidity of this wine makes it great for any occasion, and it will likely go fast this summer.

Visit Jamie Slone Wines at 23 E. De la Guerra St. in Santa Barbara.

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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