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What you need to know about the Babcock Vineyards?

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I recently discovered Babcock Vineyards and enjoy their intense translations of traditionally soft-spoken Burgundian varietals. The production of great wine begins in the vineyard, but ends in the hands of the winemaker. The experience and expertise of a winemaker can make or break a particular vintage, or an entire viticultural operation. Realizing the importance of having a great winemaker, Walt and Mona Babcock trained their son Brian to take on this important post at their family winery.

Brian Babcock earned his masters from UC Davis in food science, with an emphasis in enology. His education, along with natural intuition made his wines a success right out of the gate; their 1984 Estate Sauvignon Blanc won a double gold medal. This was the first of many awards and accolades that Babcock would receive.

Brian has impressed many critics with his innovative winemaking techniques. Recently, he was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the “Ten Best Winemakers of the Year.” The LA Times also designated Babcock as the “Most Courageous Winemaker of the Year.” The prestigeous James Beard Foundation chose Bryan as one of the “Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World.” He was the only American on that list.

As a family owned and operated winery, Babcock produces around 20,000 cases of high-quality wine. Most of the fruit is grown in their estate vineyard in the newly approved Santa Rita Hills AVA. The climate of Santa Rita is cooler than the Santa Ynez Valley to the east. This is because it generally takes longer for the fog to burn off in the morning and afternoon.

What you need to know about the Babcock Vineyards?

Daily temperatures can be on average 10 to 15 degree cooler than in Santa Ynez. These conditions are ideally suited for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly, the majority of Babcock Vineyards’ acreage is planted with these two varietals.

They also produce an estate grown Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, 2 Syrahs, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2 different blends. Babcock’s Bordeaux style blend, is known as “Fathom”. It is predominately Merlot, with a bit of Cab Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Babcock also makes a blend with Sangiovese, Merlot and Cab Franc.