Homes at Vintage Ranch are located right in the middle of the Santa Maria Valley wine growing region, which is also located in Santa Barbara Wine Country. With all the wineries in the Santa Maria area, Foxen Canyon, Los Alamos and north to Arroyo Grande, there is a ton of wine tasting to do within a 20-minute drive from Orcutt. And with over 75 sparkling wine producers here in Santa Barbara County, there are plenty of Champagne-style bubbly wines right near Rice Ranch.
Here is an excerpt from Cali Coast Wine Country Sparkling Wine Maps (maps of all sparkling wine producers in Santa Barbara and SLO County):
“California Sparkling Wine can’t be called Champagne—it’s not from the Champagne region of France—but much of the Santa Barbara County Sparkling Wine is made in the same méthode traditionelle, or méthode champenoise, used in Champagne.
Another style many winemakers use is pétillant naturel, or natural bubbles, and is the oldest (and easiest) way to make sparkling wine—also called méthode ancestrale. Pét-nats differ from traditional Champagne production in that the wine is bottled before the fermentation is complete (so only 1 fermentation happens, partially in the bottle), no sugar or yeast is added for a second fermentation, and it’s usually unfiltered, and can be made from a multitude of grape varieties. It also takes a much shorter time than the traditional method, meaning more winemakers can get in on the bubbly action. Pét-nat’s bubbles typically don’t last as long as traditional sparkling wine, and the flavors can be all over the map, instead of the classic style and flavor profile you get from the traditional method.”
Check out these Central Coast sparkling wine producers near Vintage Ranch in Orcutt!
Closest Bubbles: Presqu’ile Winery
Photos by CaliCoastWineCountry.com
Presqu’ile specializes in cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are 2 of the main grapes in Champagne, so they are perfectly positioned for French-style sparkling wine. They have 5 sparkling wines in total, but 4 of them are for wine club only.
The Presqu’ile Non Vintage Brut Cuvee Sparkling wine is produced in the traditional méthode champenoise in-house at Presqu’ile, just 4 miles from Rice Ranch. It’s crisp and clean, made from 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir. It was fermented & aged for 5 months, and has that apply, brioche toasty flavor that you expect from Champagne.
Most Bottlings: Riverbench Winery
Photos by Riverbench and CaliCoastWineCountry.com
Riverbench produces 8 different sparklers! They are also the only Champagne maker on the Central Coast to make a 100% Pinot Meunier sparkling wine from their own estate Pinot Meunier grapes. In Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are the main grapes for sparkling wines, and Riverbench specializes in all three.
2017 Demi Sec – This off-dry sparkling has an attractive and pleasant palate of apple and pear.
2018 Extra Brut Sparkling Wine - With a hint of sweetness, this wine remains fresh, vibrant, and fun to drink.
2017 Blanc de Noirs – Deep, complex, and suitable for special occasions.
2018 Blanc de Blancs – Soft and lush, yet bright and fresh, this traditionally made sparkler is a beauty.
2018 Brut Rosé – Light, fresh, and fruity, this wine is perfect for a warm, sunny day. Pairs nicely with a picnic basket.
2018 Cork Jumper Cuvée – A unique and delicious blend of the three main grapes used in Champagne, France: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
2014 Reserve Blanc de Blancs – An extended tirage and extra time in barrel make this the most oxidized sparkling in our lineup, with hints of toasted hazelnut and marzipan.
2017 Sparkling Pinot Meunier – Santa Barbara County’s only sparkling Pinot Meunier exhibits a stunning palate of berry, caraway, and a touch of yeast.
Oldest Sparkling Wine: Laetitia Vineyard & Winery
Photos by CaliCoastWineCountry.com
Laetitia has the oldest heritage of sparkling wine on the Central Coast, having planted the estate estate vineyards were planted in 1982, and the first wines were released in 1984 under the estate’s former name, Maison Deutz. The French-owned winery in San Luis Obispo County once produced 30,000 cases of sparkling wine annually. Laetitia still produces 6 sparkling wines in the same manner, and with the same French basket press, on display at the tasting room.
Non-Vintage Laetitia Brut Cuvée
2018 & 2019 Laetitia Cuvée M
2019 Laetitia Brut Rosé
2019 Laetitia Brut de Noirs
Non-Vintage Laetitia XD Sparkling
Coolest Sparklers: 2 Wineries in Los Alamos
Photos by Lo-Fi, CaliCoastWineCountry.com, and Best Coast Beverages
Los Alamos has a free spirit, and so cultivates the same in its wines. There are 3 wineries along Bell Street that produce sparkling wine in smaller quantities. This means they pop up at various times of the year, sell out fast, and tend to be made with more nontraditional grapes.
Lo-Fi’s 2019 Sparkling Pinot Noir was made from Pinot Noir around the SkyView Hotel in the traditioanl method, but the winemaker is constantly creating new sparklers. Coming this spring is a sparkling Chenin Blanc and a Pét-nat Mondeuse rosé. Keep your eye on this winery, as they may release even more bubbles next year.
Best Coast Canned Sparkling Wine at Babi's Beer Emporium was created after countless getaways to Santa Ynez Valley by founder and Angeleno Caroline Juen. She was inspired by our easy-going, fancy-free approach to wine, and she wanted to bottle—or, rather, can—that feeling. Working with the talented, pioneering female winemaker Sonja Magdevski of Casa Dumetz, Caroline brought her Best Coast dream to life with the debut of two sparkling wines that embody California's free spirit, laid-back luxury and effervescent energy.
A Tribute to Grace’s Gracias Madre is released each year and is already sold out! Winemaker Angela Osbournce loves Grenache, so she makes her bubbly from that grape. This Gracias Madre Blanc de Noirs is made in the traditional method, and named in honor of her mother. Join her mailing list to get bottles of the next release before they sell out.
Most Bubbly Choices: Los Olivos, CA
Photo by CaliCoastWineCountry.com
There are 16 sparkling wines right in downtown Los Olivos, plus a fun bonus—making bubbly wine available here in town year-round. Once you arrive in town, which is a 30-mintue drive, you can visit all these within walking distance. There are also several producers (Vincent and Roblar) just outside of town if you drive 5 minutes more.
So, buy local bubbles this season, and celebrate!