...an opaque black/purple color, as well as an extraordinary nose of black fruits, blackberries, and cassis, full-bodied, awesomely concentrated flavors, gobs of glycerin, low acidity, and a 40+ second finish...
Ojai Vineyards was founded in 1983 in Ventura County, on California’s Central Coast. It was established and is still operated by Adam and Helen Tolmach. Adam Tolmach was also one of the founders of Au Bon Climat, another Central Coast winery, which he left to focus on Ojai Vineyards. The estate produces about 6,000 cases of wine a year. It makes 15 different wines, primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Most are vineyard-designated wines made of grapes from long-term suppliers. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “only a handful of wineries have matched (Adam Tolmach’s) brilliant performance record from vineyards spread out through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Just about any Ojai wine is well worth checking out…”
Santa Barbara County is not an AVA, but a region just south of San Luis Obispo that includes the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley appellations. Wine has been produced in the area since the 18th century when Spanish missionaries planted vineyards. It wasn’t until the 1990s, however, that producers focused on growing premier grapes for fine wines. During the 1990s more than 10,000 acres of vineyards were planted, and today there are nearly 20,000 acres of vineyards. The region received a big bump in recognition and prestige when the popular film “Sideways” was shot there in 2004. Because the region is affected by maritime weather, it is relatively cool climate makes it ideal for Chardonnay. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and an increasingly adventuresome number of varietals are also grown successfully in Santa Barbara County.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.