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Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards
Ranked #2 of 21 things to do in Buellton
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Owner description: Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards was founded in 2005 by Sta. Rita Hills pioneer winegrower, and Vineyard Hall of Fame inductee, Richard Sanford. Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards places a focus on cool-climate varietals best suited to the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, chiefly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with additional production of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. The wines are distinctive, expressive, and are exemplary of the region. Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards is committed to sustainable agricultural and business practices including organic farming and green building techniques. Alma Rosa's estate vineyards are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), and were the first to achieve that recognition in the region. The name Alma Rosa is a tribute to the soul of the original Santa Rosa land grant on which the estate vineyards are planted. We look forward to sharing our wines with you!
Reviewed December 10, 2013

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.

Thank thedlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 - 26 of 38 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2013

Continuing our Sideways imitation, we followed the signs along a dusty gravel road, across a dry streambed and up to a ramshackle building that looked at least a hundred years old. For those into movie trivia, the scene in Sideways where Jack and Miles are allegedly at Sanford's was actually filmed here. Much more authentic-looking and, in fact, still owned by the Sanford family (which Sanford's is not). The Pinots here were not as good as Sanford's (or the Hitching Post II, for that matter), but the atmosphere was Old California, and reminded me of Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino in the 1950s. "Sigh!"

Thank Kalamariverrat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I took the Pinot tasting and the only stand out for me was the 2010 Pinot Noir - Mt. Eden Clone, El Jabalí Vineyard, this bottle followed me home!. They are a little out of the way but worth the trip just for the Sideways connection.

Thank Cranky64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Alma Rosa was our first stop on a weeklong visit to Santa Barbara County's wine country. Richard Sanford is one of the original pioneers who put the region on the wine map -- and his Alma Rosa endeavor continues his legacy of making very good wines. The tasting room is a bit rustic, but you have a choice of two tastings -- we went for the pinot noir focus. All the wines were pretty good, though a bit different stylistically than most of our Oregon pinots. We did buy a bottle (the La Encantada Vineyard) and enjoyed the start to our weeklong wine odyssey,

Thank OregonJohn97338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

As I say with visits to wineries, don't rate the wine as much as the place since everyone has different palate.
Alma Rosa is my favorite winery to visit. It is off the path a bit and has charm that you cannot find in at a big winery. The beautiful setting causes you to want to linger. I loved that it was not crowded just 2 other couples while we tasted. The wine here is good. My favorite of the day was a the Vin Gris from Alma Rosa and I am a red fan!
The service here was great, we had a very mellow lady pour for us, which was nice, she really took her time and chatted about what she enjoyed in the wine.
My only thing that might be off putting for some is the prices are a bit high for a tasting.

Thank Shelly F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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