Quaint little winery tucked into the Santa Rita Hills. No point lying. We came here because of Sideways. This is the first wine tasting room that they visited in the film. Since the film's release, the owner had to give up the Sanford name (long story explained to us by one of the employees). So yes, this is the actual place in the film.
For variety, we decided to share the varietal flight and the pinot flight. A refined wine palate I have not, but I did enjoy a few of the wines and found a couple not so enjoyable. If I remember correctly, my favorite was the "2011 Pinot Noir - Santa Rita Hills," whereas my girlfriend liked the "2011 Pinot Noir - Clone 115 - La Encantada Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills."
Now this isn't Alma Rosa's fault, but boy are some winegoers loud and obnoxious. Part of the charm is how small the tasting room is. But when a group of people suddenly enter and act like they own the place, your experience goes south quickly.
Fortunately, we were on our last glass and we escaped to the back to check out the surroundings. The aforementioned employee saw me taking photos and invited us to check out their planning room. Apparently, the walls are stacks of hay bales reinforced with rebar and covered in clay. You can see how thick the walls are. It was a cold day and the inside was toasty warm thanks to the insulation.
It's great to see small wineries remaining small and maintaining that independent charm. Despite the annoying patrons, we enjoyed our quick stop at Alma Rosa.