Also posted on WD:

I would try to set something up with Wes Hagen at Clos Pepe (near Melville and Babcock) and
with Dave Corey at Core (in Santa Maria a little north).

If you are interested, you could try to meet with Arcadian - I have really enjoyed a couple bottles lately of this. I think he also either stores wine or makes wine in the Same facility at Core.
Give Loring a call too. I called them back in Septemebr for a visit and Brian called me back. It was a bad time of the year (obviously) for them so i wasn't able get a tour, but he made me promise to come out in the spring. Really nice guy and seemed very sincere in wanting to give me a tour/taste.
I just returned from a business trip to 1000 Oaks. I had a free day on Thursday and drove up the coast to check out the area. It was last minute so I did not have any appointments. I would recommend a couple of spots:

Melville Winery off Hwy 246 in Lompoc had some nice chards and their small lot Pinots were a great find and fantastic wines (especially the Terraces). Greg Brewer is the winemaker and is intense to say the least.

Native 9 was the biggest surprise on the trip. James Ontiveros is the owner. I don't think they normally have many visitors but I got lucky and was "referred" by Alvin at Melville. They are located off Dominion Road in the Santa Maria valley. Their '04 really blew me away.

Things are pretty spread out but you can go into Los Olivos and taste along "winery row". Carhartt Vineyards is one to visit for sure. Nice Syrah and Pinot.

One last note - stop by the "ghetto" in Lompoc. Sea Smoke, Fiddlehead, Palmino, Brewer-Clifton and many other garage outfits are there. Really a neat area behind the Home Depot off Hwy. 1 (turn rt. on 7th St. and then rt. on Chestnut Ct.)
You really shouldd stop by the Hitching Post II and taste at the bar - the hours that the tastings are available are limited
( 4 to 7 maybe ?), but the wines really are enjoyable. I was impressed with most of the tasting rooms in Los Olivos ( Especially Longoria, Gehrs, Epiphany & Consilience ) and the Ballard Inn nearby has tastings in the daytime and fine dining in the evenings; not to be missed. Also found some nice wines at Melville and Bridlewood.
Bridlewood is nice. Just drive down Foxwood Canyon road and explore.

Last time we stopped by Andrew Murray in Los Olivos, they were very friendly. The girl who worked there had some friends that worked at other wineries and made some phone calls, so we got to go "behind the scenes" at some other places. Gainey is also consistent. Firestone only had reds to taste and I had asked to try some Riesling and they were a-holes about it.

Just asking around also helps.
quote:
Ken Brown is now bonded and shares an industrial space in Lompoc with another vintner (whose name I forgot).
Ken Brown is colocated with Peter Work's winery, Ampelos. Both Ken and Peter make some very nice wines and are right near Loring. (If you stop by Loring, make sure he tastes you through some of the Pali wines.) In addition to Pinot, Peter Work makes some great Rhone varietals including Syrah, Grenache and Viognier if you're looking for a change.

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