8 Must-Try Wineries in Lompoc That Feature Locally Grown Grapes
8 Must-Try Wineries in Lompoc that Feature Locally Grown Grapes
Award-winning wineries and highly-rated wines have put Lompoc on the map as a top California wine tasting destination. The climate, soil, and ocean marine layer all combine to make the perfect grape-growing conditions for Pinot, Chardonnay and other cool climate varietals.
More and more people want a taste of the region’s hand-picked, locally made, artisan wines. In all, there are about 40 different vineyards and tasting rooms scattered around the Lompoc area, and we invite you to try them all.
The Lompoc Wine Map is great way to enjoy wineries in Lompoc. Most of the in town wineries are within walking distance to each other, so you can park in one spot, and stroll from place to place.
Not sure where to start?
Here’s a look at eight “must-try” wineries to include on your Lompoc Wine Tasting Tour:
1. Melville Winery
Recently recognized as one of Wine & Spirits‘ Top 100 Wineries in the World in 2018, Melville produces some of the most sought-after wines in California. Specializing in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah, Melville Winery is a family-owned operation, where the son manages everything from growing grapes to selling wine. This estate winery is spread across the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation, with 120 acres of vines along with a spacious tasting room and picnic area.
Location: 5185 East Hwy 246, Lompoc, CA 93436
Tasting Room Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11-4; Friday and Saturday: 11-5
2. Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery
The Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery is full of surprises. The owner, Bill Foley, also owns a professional hockey team in Las Vegas, the Vegas Golden Knights. He also sought-out and bought the best land he could find to make handcrafted wine, and he found it in the Sta. Rita Hills of Lompoc.
On the site of a former thoroughbred horse ranch, Foley built a 500-acre vineyard and converted the horse stables into a 12,000 square-foot event center and tasting room with stunning views. When you stop in, taste their award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Location: 6121 E Highway 246, Lompoc, CA 93436
Tasting Room Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10-5
Two winemakers met, become friends and opened their own winery. That’s the simple story of Brewer-Clifton. Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton started a wine-making adventure more than 20 years ago and created an estate winery that produces award-winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The winery’s 2012 Pinot Noir earned the No. 8 spot on Wine Spectator‘s Top 100 Wines of 2014. And in October 2018, was featured on the cover of Wine Spectator showcasing top California Pinots.
While their tasting room is now located in Los Olivos, CA (about 30 minute drive from Lompoc, open daily), the wine production facility is still in Lompoc, where they are happy provide private tastings, with advanced reservation.
Private tastings at Lompoc winery by appointment only; Email email@example.com
Tasting Room: 2367 Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos, CA 93441
4. Longoria Wines
An artisanal family winery, Longoria Wines started with a small production of 500 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 1982 and has continued that small-batch tradition to this day.
Longoria has won numerous accolades over the years, including 91 to 94 point ratings for four of their Pinot Noirs from Wine Enthusiast
Tasting Room Hours: Open daily, 11 to 4:30
5. Tyler Winery
The Tyler Winery produces 12 different vintages, mostly Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, from grapes grown in small parcel vineyards all around the St. Rita Hills.
The winery’s owner, Justin Willet – whose middle name is Tyler – was named one of America’s Top 40 Winemakers Under 40 by Wine Enthusiast in 2015.
This small production winery runs a tasting room in the Sta. Rita Hills Wine Center, across the street from Lompoc’s Wine Ghetto.
Tasting in Lompoc by appointment only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Montemar Wines
For a not-so-ordinary winery experience, check out Montemar Wines, located in the Wine Ghetto, along with several other wineries in Lompoc. Montemar not only produces its own hand-crafted Pinots and Chardonnays, but offers a spacious patio for fun and games. Sample a few wines while playing a game of giant Jenga or a round of darts, and kick back to enjoy the live music offered on select weekends and during special events.
Location: 1501 E Chestnut Court, Lompoc, CA 93436
Tasting Room Hours: Thursday – Monday, noon to 5 pm (note: open til 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, March to Oct)
7. Fiddlehead Cellars
Another resident of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, Fiddlehead Cellars produces several Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Owner Kathy Joseph is a female pioneer in the Santa Barbara wine region, and now produces about 5,000 cases annually.
Stop by Fiddlehead in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto to taste “728” or “Doyle,” two of the wines made from grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills.
Location: 1597 E Chestnut Ave., Lompoc, CA 93436
Tasting Room Hours: Friday: 4 to 7; Saturday: 11 to 5; Sunday: 11-4
Flying Goat Cellars offers fine wine without pretense as its whimsical name suggests. Winemaker Norm Yost specializes in single vineyard Pinots and Goat Bubbles sparkling wine. Flying Goat sources fruit from three vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills AVA: Ampelos, Rio Vista and Rancho Santa Rosa.
Wine Enthusiast frequently rates Flying Goat wines with 92+ points so be sure to check them out at their tasting room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto.
Tasting Room Hours: Thursday-Monday: 11-4
Plan to spend a few days in Lompoc Wine Country so you can enjoy several wineries each day, and not have to worry about driving home. Pick your hotel – Lompoc has 12 hotels and motels to choose from.