Gabe Saglie's Blog
A Sparkling Industry: New Maps Showcase Quick Growth of Central Coast Bubbly
In Santa Barbara County -- where pinot and chardonnay, Champagne's main ingredients, flourish -- many of the top tier producers sell their bubbles from about $20 to $50 a bottle, with a few commanding prices above $60. Many of them, like Lucas & Lewellen, produce the still wine locally and then truck the juice to an outside facility – a place called Rack & Riddle in Napa, mostly – to be further fermented into bubbly. But a growing number, including Flying Goat Cellars and Fess Parker Winery, produce their sparklers entirely in-house, emulating Champagne’s classic methode traditionelle.
Winemaker Megan McGrath Gates, who produces 1200 cases of four unique bottlings a year Lucas& Lewellen, agrees. “Our distributors have placed these wines nationwide and they are poured by the glass in many restaurants,” she says. “Our sparkling wine program has become emblematic of the variety and quality of wines that can be produced in Santa Barbara County wine country.”