Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 2:53 pm | Light Rain 59º


Wandering Dog Winery Expands Local Label Program in Support of Local Vintners

 Solvang’s Wandering Dog Wine Bar — Santa Barbara County’s longest-operating, and only Certified Green wine bar — has successfully expanded its private label wine program from four labels to a current line-up of 14 wines, comprising eight different locally-grown varietals.

Each of the 14 wines is made by local winemakers and wineries, sourced from local vineyards, and each winemaker or winery is listed on the respective bottle; every winemaker is given full credit for the wines produced for Wandering Dog in line with the wine bar’s mission to support and foster local vintners — from those just budding to established makers and brands.

Wandering Dog’s currently has 11 distinct releases representing 10 vintners, with styles ranging from sparkling wines to multiple takes on pinot noir. Upcoming releases will include a syrah by winemaker Michael Larner, from Larner Vineyard grapes (Ballard Canyon).

Over the course of its eight years, Wandering Dog Wine Bar has, in addition to international imports, showcased wines from countless winemakers whose own labels were too small to justify the expense of a tasting room.

As time passed, many of these producers expanded into their own locations, clearing the way for Wandering Dog to feature the next wave of winemaking superstars.

“This cycle has been instrumental in [Wandering Dog’s] success, but has had the side effect of ending professional relationships with winemakers who are more than an account — they are our friends,” said Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s director di vino, Charles “CT” Williams.

Jody Williams, Wandering Dog’s Events & Marketing Director, added, “Through a style of winemaking called négociant, we are able to bring in unique wines from some of our favorite producers, which are not available anywhere else. Whether it’s a barrel blend produced in partnership with the winemaker, or sourcing fruit from select vineyards or committing to a lot of wine that might not fit the profile of a specific producer, we are fortunate enough to reunite with some beloved wines from our past.”

Wandering Dog Wine Bar first produced wines in this fashion with a 2005 vintage created by Norm Yost, of California Central Coast wine label, Flying Goat Cellars.

Yost’s pinot oir, produced for Wandering Dog from Rio Vista Vineyard grapes, was affectionately named “Leila”, for CT’s childhood Newfoundland. Ever since, a good portion of Wandering Dog’s private label listing follows suit with names reflecting family canines of past and present.

Now, in 2015, Wandering Dog has burgeoned beyond its Signature Series wines with its No Leashes program, focusing on popular wineries from past wine lists.

As is evident from the wine bar’s business name, and the tale behind its multiple, dog-honoring wine labels, Wandering Dog Wine bar is dedicated to all things doggie.

The decidedly dog-friendly bar often hosts pet-related events and fundraisers, such as the upcoming Oct. 3, 2015 Pinot for Puppies, a benefit for “Bright Beginnings: Pit Bull Puppy Ambassador Program,” an event for Shadow’s Fund.

Family-owned and filled with eclectic adventurism, Wandering Dog Wine Bar is known for carrying under-the-radar labels, specializing in boutique wines. It offers a dozen wine flights every day including everything from local favorites, sparkling and sweet wines, to reserve flights featuring wines that run for over $100.

For the beer connoisseur, Wandering Dog offers bottles of domestic craft brews and also has gourmet cheese and charcuterie platters available in a variety of sizes, along with local olives and fine chocolates.

Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s palate-picked wine menu encompasses labels by artisan producers along the Central Coast and wines from all over the world.

The bar’s knowledgeable staff encourages guests to break out of their wine shell and try new wines, some of which are sourced from unexpected — but blossoming — wine regions, served with a healthy dose of friendly education in a relaxed and comfortable, dog-friendly atmosphere.

Every Thursday, Wandering Dog Wine Bar hosts a locals-favorite blind tasting from 4–7 p.m., when guests are challenged to match up regions, varietals, alcohol percentages, price points and vintages of four featured red wines.

The bar also features industry Tuesdays; a wine-by-the-glass loyalty card program (buy 10 glasses and get one free); and a series of educational wine classes (starting again in the fall of 2015).

Wandering Dog also arranges wine travel tours open to its dedicated Wine Club members and the general public.

Wandering Dog Wine Bar is located at 1539-C Mission Drive, Solvang, CA, 93463.

As one of Solvang’s few businesses open late into the evening, Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s hours are Monday through Thursday, 1–8 p.m.; Friday, 1–10 p.m.; Saturday, 11–10 p.m. and Sunday, 11–8 p.m.

Free street parking is available. To reach Wandering Dog Wine Bar directly, please call 805.686.9126.

For more information about Wandering Dog’s newly expanded, private label wine program or any of Wandering Dog’s other initiatives, please contact Anna Ferguson-Sparks, Stiletto Marketing, at 1.877.327.2656 or [email protected]

Additional information is available at www.wanderingdogwinebar.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.

— Anna Ferguson-Sparks is a publicist representing Wandering Dog Wine Bar.

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