Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Canyon's Grassini Family Vineyard and Winery

It's just like Santa Barbara to name a location Happy Canyon without an iota of irony. The thing is the location -- the westernmost, and therefore warmest, part of the Santa Ynez Valley -- is ungodly gorgeous. There aren't many folks to clutter up the scenery of rolling hills and horse ranches.

It's in this location (and American Viticultural Area, or AVA, since 2009) that the Grassini Family purchased 104 acres of undeveloped land in the late 1980s. "At the time, there was a lot more cattle than vines dotting the landscape," says Katie Grassini, daughter of founders Larry and Sharon, and current CEO of Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery. "Our land was used for grazing cattle until 2001, when my parents decided to plant 35 of our 104 acres with five Bordeaux varietals. As a child, my father spent years gardening with his grandfather, Articondo, who had emigrated from Pisa. It was his fond memories of tending the land with his grandfather that first inspired him to plant the vines. As an homage to Articondo's influence on Dad's green thumb, we named our red blend wine 'Articondo' -- I think he'd be very proud!"

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

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