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Casa Dumetz Wines
by
Kathy Sullivan

Casa Dumetz WinesSummary: Casa Dumetz Wines located in the tiny town of Los Alamos offers a delightfully quaint tasting room where wine lovers and travelers can stop by and relax in an informal way. The owner and winemaker is Sonja Magdevski who is delightfully entertaining in an enthusiastic way. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

Casa Dumetz WinesWe met enthusiastic Sonja Magdevski, owner, winemaker and force behind Casa Dumetz. She is also a professional journalist. Sonja overflows with energy and excitement. Her long journey to wine began with a visit to Macedonia. Her family is from Macedonia. In 1998-1999, Sonja received a Fulbright scholarship to go to Macedonia. Her last trip to the Eastern European country was in 2003 when her father accompanied her and pointed out where her ancestors lived and also showed her vineyards. They saw some land that was deserted, but grapevines were growing. The grape growing and winemaking kindled Sonja’s passion for grape growing and winemaking.

A few years later, Sonja met Emilio Estevez while working in a flower shop in Malibu. Noticing his sunburn she asked him why he was sunburned. After learning that Emilio was planting a vineyard, Sonja asked if she could help him in the vineyard. Little by little the vineyard, planted with Pinot Noir, grew and it was not long before Sonja and Emilio made wine in a garage.

By 2008 Sonja had made three barrels of wine and in 2011 she made 500 cases. She decided to put her efforts into the winery full time. Her goal was to pay the rent for the tasting room. Sonja remembers well the first bottle of wine she sold, a sparkling wine. In 2014 she is producing 2,000 cases. Grapes are sourced from various vineyards and she noted that she likes the Rhone varieties best.

Casa Dumetz WinesThe tasting room on the main street is located in a one-story building built in the late 1800s. The location has been used for several things including a general store and a library. The tasting room is inviting with several small tables for visitors and photos of Sonja’s family on one wall. The tasting counter also has seating. While we were visiting with Sonja, there was a steady stream of visitors. At Casa Dumetz, people are encouraged to come and stay awhile.

In learning to produce wine, Sonja noted that the wine industry has been very helpful.

Casa Dumetz WinesWhite Wines

Roussane 2013 La Presa Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley AVA was yellow with a floral aroma. The taste offered citrus and floral nuances especially honeysuckle. The finish was crisp with layers of floral and citrus notes. Viognier 2013 Tierra Alta Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA was yellow with floral and some tropical fruit notes. The finish was crisp and refreshing. Grenache Gris 2013 Tierra Alta Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA was an orange color and fruity. The taste was of red berry fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity. Gewürztraminer 2013 Vina de Santa Ynez, Santa Ynez Valley AVA offered an aroma of floral and spice notes. The taste reminded one of roses. The finish was crisp.

Casa Dumetz WinesRed Wines

Syrah Rosé 2013 Tierra Alta Vineyards, Ballard Canyon AVA was red with an orange tinge. The wine had red berry fruit notes and was crisp. Grenache 2012 Tierra Alta Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA was a light ruby color with an aroma and taste of red and black raspberries with tannins. The finish was crisp. Grenache 2012 Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA was a transparent ruby color. The aroma and taste offered notes of red and black raspberries and tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity. Syrah 2012 Tierra Alta Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA was a dark transparent ruby color. The aroma was of spice and black fruit. The taste offered baking spices, plums, black raspberries and medium tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity.

While traveling in this area of Santa Barbara County along Route 101 be sure to take the exit off to Los Alamos to visit Casa Dumetz and the other one-of-a-kind antique stores and shops.

Casa Dumetz
388 Bell Street
Los Alamos, California 93440

GPS: N34º 44.632’ W120º 16.780’

 

Article written July 2014


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