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Fuel your Pinot Passion in Lompoc

OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

Fuel your Pinot Passion … Sip, Savor & Stay in Lompoc

Media Contact: Janis Flippen, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, (805) 389-9495, janis@janisflippenpr.com

With the highest concentration of world-class, small production wineries in Santa Barbara County, Lompoc is harvesting its share of the growing Central Coast wine market by producing some of the finest wines in California. Near Santa Ynez Valley, but closer to the coast, Lompoc is the epicenter of much of the winemaking that is drawing attention to the wines of Santa Barbara County.

Acclaimed for its calcium-rich soil and a marine layer that creates an ocean-influenced climate, Lompoc tops the region with its Pinot Noir, Chardonnays and other cool climate wines. Pinot grapes are especially hard to grow. With its thin-skin, it is considered a temperamental, delicate grape, and tends to ripen early. It can only be grown in very specific regions – and Lompoc’s Sta. Rita Hills AVA offers the perfect blend of climate, soil and winemaking aplomb. So if Pinot is your passion, a visit to Lompoc is a must.

Lompoc Wine Ghetto
A fun – and efficient – way to taste many of the premium wines produced locally is to visit the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, a collection of 20 plus tasting rooms, all within walking distance. But don’t let the non-descript industrial exterior fool you – each of the tasting rooms has its own distinct charm and ambience, from funky to sophisticated, traditional to modern.

In the Lompoc Wine Ghetto you’ll find Ampelos Cellars, the first vineyard in the U.S. to be fully organic while producing great Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals; Flying Goat Cellars, featuring handcrafted Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris, along with sparkling wines; Palmina Wines, producing small-batch Italian varietals such as Barbera, Pinot Grigio and Dolcetto. These are just a handful of the many great tasting rooms within the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, each with their own distinct offerings and interesting winemakers.

Most Wine Ghetto tasting rooms are open Friday through Sunday; some are open Thursday as well. All will open their doors for the first ever “Harvest in the Ghetto” celebration on September 26-27, featuring rare barrel tastings, open house festivities, live graffiti demos, a grape stomp, a Farm-to-Ghetto dinner and food trucks.

Boutique Tasting Rooms
Outside of the Wine Ghetto but still located in Lompoc, visitors can discover a number of distinct boutique tasting rooms with exceptional wines. Longoria Wines, an artisanal family winery, offers a spacious tasting room, a cozy lounge area, and wines described as ‘balanced, elegant, rich, silky.” Brewer-Clifton serves up its award-winning Pinot Noir, ranked eighth-best in 2015 by Wine Spectator Magazine. Transcendence Wines is a small, family-owned winery dedicated to making Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. About 15 Lompoc tasting rooms will participate in the Sip Lompoc event scheduled for Black Friday, November 29, 2015, providing a great excuse to get away for some post-Thanksgiving shopping and wine tasting!

Scenic Vineyards
For those looking for the scenic wine country tasting experience, Lompoc offers that as well. Scattered along the loop of Highway 246 and Santa Rosa Road in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, visitors can meander by lush green farm fields leading to classic vineyards and estate wineries. Some 12 wineries within the boundaries of the Lompoc Valley dominate this region. Among the favorites is Dierberg-Starlane Winery, bringing 40 years of wine making experience to producing its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Dierberg offers a flight of six wines, featuring both Dierberg and Star Lane wines, showcasing the diversity of their three estate vineyards in Santa Barbara County.

At Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery, visitors enjoy spectacular vistas of neighboring mountain ranges, coastal oaks, and contoured hillside vines from its large tasting room. Foley’s primary focus is on the main grapes of the Sta. Rita Hills – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – but there is also Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Blanc made from Foley Estate grapes. Both Foley and Dierberg are generally open 7 days a week.

Culinary Offerings
A wine adventure wouldn’t be complete without a food adventure to go with it. One of Lompoc’s newest restaurants is Scratch Kitchen, showcasing a menu of fresh local ingredients with gourmet flair, accompanied by a selection of local and regional wines. Scratch works mainly with local growers, fishermen, and suppliers to feature a seasonal menu. Two signature dishes are the SK Hamburger, featuring a toasted house-made bun with sweet onion-jalapeno jam, and the Beet and Burrata Salad with roasted beets, avocado, tomatoes, arugula and other tasty toppings.

Also relatively new to the Lompoc food scene is Nikka Fish Enterprise, serving a variety of fresh fish entrees, fish tacos, pasta with seafood, and sushi offerings like the popular avocado bomb roll. Daily specials such as scallop almond stir fry and basil pesto linguine with grilled shrimp goat cheese, mango, roasted pine nuts and bacon bits make this restaurant a stand out. It also boasts an on-site fish market where patrons can purchase fresh fish and view the quality of fish that is being used in their dishes.

Sissy’s Uptown Café, a charming café in an historic building, is a longtime favorite. Sissy’s serves traditional American food and home-made pies in a warm, artsy ambience. Sissy’s also has a wine store and tasting room with over 300 different wines including some very limited productions and rare finds. In the restaurant, visitors can select from 20 wines by the glass or choose a bottle from the wine store to enjoy with a meal.

Sage Restaurant, a hidden gem located on the greens of the Village Country Club, offers spectacular views of the golf course along with amazing cuisine. Sage’s chef works with local farms to obtain fresh produce for farm-to-table experiences. Their signature dishes include a Mango & Grilled Papaya Salad, Fisherman’s Chowder, Pork Belly and a grilled Salmon filet. Sage’s desserts are all homemade by two of on-site bakers. Sage features a wide variety of local wines including Palmina, Foley, Melville, Longoria, Brewer Clifton and many more.

D’Vine Wine Bar & Bistro located in the heart of the downtown complements its cuisine with local wines from Ampelos, Flying Goat, Pali, La Vie, Babcock and others. D’Vine recently obtained its own label, a Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir made by Brewer-Clifton with the grapes coming from the Kessler-Haak Vineyard. D’Vine features locally grown artichokes from Baroda Farms which are grilled, seasoned and are served with a garlic aioli dipping sauce. Also of special note is their artisan, wafer thin crust pizzas and house chopped salad.

La Botte Italian Restaurant is a family-run establishment, offering homemade, traditional Italian fare accompanied by a full list of local and Italian wines. Be sure to try many of their signature dishes including Pesto Chicken, Lasagna, Manicotti, Baked Ziti and Fettuccine Alfredo. And, save room for dessert – their specialty is tiramisu, not to be missed!

Explore Lompoc
Located on scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1, Lompoc takes on a world of its own. Its valley setting, surrounded by spectacular rolling hills and vineyards, creates an invitation for visitors to detour off the main road, and discover what’s around the bend.

Lompoc’s spectacular weather makes it a year-round destination for not only wine tasting, but also golf, skydiving, biking (road, trails, BMX), hiking, and nearby surfing at Jalama Beach. In Old Town Lompoc, visitors will find big murals adorning buildings and alley ways, vintage stores, museums and other local treasures.

To learn more about Lompoc wineries, other attractions, and hotels, visit explorelompoc.com.

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