You know how much I love Santa Barbara, California and the beautiful wines grown in the area. I raved often enough to bore everybody. But today I’m more skeptical than raving. I just read a press release by the Santa Barbara Wine Company announcing the launch of their “Artisan Wines”. What a strange concept! What is artisan? In France, an “artisan” is a man who creates quality products in the tradition of his region. Bordeaux has some estates grouped under the name of “crus artisans”, “artisan wines”. To tell you the truth, they never met any success.
What are “artisan wines” in Santa Barbara? How do they fit themselves between the urban wineries like Jaffurs or the high quality wines of SeaSmoke? I’m not sure the concept of “artisan” will help the branding of their Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. Their label is non descript with a palm tree, the name of the winery and the grape. Marketing such a wine is certainly difficult, even if the wine is of very good quality.
I make a deal with you, readers. I’ll taste their wines in Santa Barbara this summer and will let you know : 1) if they were easily found and 2) if I liked them. See you then!