Rancho Sisquoc Riesling

We are in Santa Barbara wine country this week and enjoying the tranquility of this wine region and its many scenic backroads. There are over 100 tasting rooms and wineries in Santa Barbara County, and we are doing our best to visit as many as possible during our stay. Of the several wineries we have visited so far, we found two wineries that stood out for their excellent wine values. They were the Rancho Sisquoc Winery and the Zaca Mesa Winery. Here are two excellent value and bargain wines to enjoy.

Rancho Sisquoc Riesling 2011 – $12 at the winery
For those from the San Francisco Area, you have surely heard of James Flood and the historic downtown San Francisco Flood Building. It turns out that Rancho Sisquoc is owned and operated by the Flood Family of the same fame. This wine is a dry Riesling that reminds us of many Rieslings from the Alsace wine region in France. It does have a slight touch of sweetness, but it is balanced by the acidity in the wine. This is a very nice wine for an aperitif, but will also go well with a variety of lighter foods or spicy dishes. It is loaded with tropical fruit aroma and flavors. I have seen this wine at BevMo, but I don’t see it listed on their Website. If you do see it on the BevMo shelves, give it a try. Currently, BevMo carries the Rancho Sisquoc Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for under $20. We tasted those and liked them also. 88 Points for the Riesling.

image of Rancho Sisquoc

Rancho Sisquoc Winery in Santa Barbara wine country

Zaca Mesa 2009 Syrah – $19.99 at KL Wines
The Zaca Mesa is very much an under-rated winery. They produce a fine array of wines and this Syrah is delicious. It’s their flagship wine and it should be widely available. This wine is a complex Syrah with a smoky edge to it, and it is loaded with black fruit flavors and some pepper spice. This wine cries out for juicy steak on the barbeque. The Wine Enthusiast rates the wine at 91 Points. I will go with 89 Points. KL Wines also carries the Zaca Mesa Viognier for $15.99 and the Chardonnay for $16.99. We also liked those wines. Many of the wines at Zaca Mesa are available only at the winery. My favorite wine of our tasting was the 2009 Rousanne, a white wine that was just an amazing complex white that lingered on the palate for minutes. It was so good that I went back and purchased more.

image of Zaca Mesa

Vineyards at Zaca Mesa winery in Santa Barbara wine country

Here is a link to the Santa Barbara wine country region. If you are in the area, stop in one or more of these wineries. You will be impressed.

If you have not voted as yet on the April poll, please take five seconds to cast your vote on which country offers the most wine values and bargains.


  1. I had the ’08 Zaca Mesa Syrah earlier this year, and it was a fantastic bottle of wine.

    • If you are ever in the area of Zaca Mesa, you must visit. They have several wines that are available only at the winery. In addition to the Rousanne I mentioned in the article, we had a Mouvedre that was stunning. While we were there a woman purchased the last of the Chardonnay inventory, five cases.



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