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Grassini Family Vineyards

Grassini Family VineyardsSummary: We visited the Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery tasting room located in a delightful shopping area of Santa Barbara. The tasting room is tastefully decorated and the staff consultant was friendly and knowledgeable about the Grassini winery and wines.

Grassini Family VineyardsWe visited the tasting room of Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery located in the city of Santa Barbara in the historic shopping area of El Paseo. We learned that the tasting room is a short drive away from the Santa Barbara beach that is known as the American Riviera.

The Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery is definitely a family winery. Dating back to the early 1900s, the first generation grandparents, Articondo Grassini and his wife Afiora Tinucci from Pisa arrived in the United States. The focus was on gardening until the third and fourth generations responded to the idea of planting vineyards and beginning a winery. Larry and Sharon Grassini, owners of the Grassini winery and vineyards, have four daughters. The winery and vineyards are located in the newly created Happy Canyon AVA which is in the eastern part of Santa Ynez. The wines are created with 100 percent vineyard grapes.

We discovered that Grassini vineyards consist of 35 acres of grapevines including: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc. About one-half of the grapes are sold to other winemakers. The Happy Canyon AVA tends to be warmer than other areas of Santa Barbara County. The days are hot and the nights cool. Therefore, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are able to ripen here. The winery in Happy Canyon is 100 percent solar powered. Chickens are free range. A small lake reclaims well water.

Grassini Family VineyardsWhen visiting the tasting room in Santa Barbara, pay attention to the ambiance they have created with the use of a wood counter made from an old barge, two leather chairs in the center of the tasting room and the use of the logo created with the letter “G” and a backwards five representing the five women of the family. Larry wanted to create a legacy for his daughters.

Grassini Family VineyardsGrassini White Wines

Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA was a yellow color. The aroma was floral with tropical fruit notes. Notes of citrus, mango with a hint of pineapple were apparent. The finish was very crisp and fruit forward.

In 2010, Larry and Sharon Grassini turned over two acres of Sauvignon Blanc to the vineyard crew. The wine crafted from these two acres is called Equipo, and all proceeds go to the winery crew. Equipo is Spanish for “team.” Equipo 2010 Sauvignon Blanc “by the crew for the crew” was aged for almost two years. This yellow wine offered notes of lime, some tropical fruit and a hint of oak. The wine had a silky mouthfeel and the finish was crisp.

Grassini Family VineyardsGrassini Red Wines

Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA was aged in French oak for 23 months. This Cabernet Sauvignon had a small amount of Petit Verdot added to it. The dark ruby wine was very fruity with notes of plum, blackberry and cassis. The wine offered bold tannins. On the aftertaste the fruit yielded to oak, leather and a coffee influence. This wine had a 15.4 percent alcohol.

Articondo was named for Articondo Grassini. The Articondo 2011 Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The color was a medium ruby and the wine offered notes of spice, blackberry, plum and cassis. The wine had bold tannins and was crisp and fruity. The wine was 15.5 percent alcohol.

Articondo must be smiling down from heaven as he sees what his descendants have accomplished. When you have the opportunity, visit the Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery tasting room in Santa Barbara.

Grassini Family Vineyards
813 Anacapa Street, #6
Santa Barbara, California 93101

Article written June 2014

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