Sanguis is an urban winery in Santa Barbara. It was founded by Matthias Pippig and his wife Jamie Kinser, and the couple source grapes from the Santa Rita Hills, Alisos Canyon and the hills east of Santa Maria. A native of Germany who is a food-industry marketing consultant when he’s not making wine, Pippig has been compared to his friend and one-time restaurant colleague Manfred Krankl, the dynamo behind Sine Qua Non. Like Krankl, Pippig creates blends with exuberant names and makes his own labels. He also decries the current “non-interventionist” trend in winemaking, having told more than one interviewer that the winemaker’s job is precisely about creating fine wines through closely monitored winemaking. Wine Advocate calls Sanguis wines “impeccably made…In addition, they also age gracefully. While the bulk of the lineup is red, don’t miss his whites! They’re rich and full-bodied, but unique, awesomely pure and focused.”
Santa Rita Hills AVA in northern Santa Barbara County was granted appellation status in 2001. Located between the towns of Lompoc and Buellton, it has a total area of 30,720 acres with 2,700 vineyard acres. The area is considered a cool climate for vineyards, so vineyards are most often planted with the cool-weather grapes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The hills in the western part of this appellation are directly exposed to the Pacific Ocean, meaning that maritime winds and fog make the western edge of the Santa Rita Hills AVA particularly cool. The Sanford & Benedict Vineyard planted in 1971 was the first vineyard in the district and is still considered one of the best.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.