Sometimes the most impromptu situations lead to wonderful outcomes. That was the case when winemaker, Karen Steinwachs heard I was in Solvang for the day and invited me at the last minute to Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard's Imbiber's Club pick up party. It was an invite I could not decline.
The winery is situated amongst peach trees and is an idyllic setting for a wine tasting party. Although I had experienced several of Buttonwood’s wines at other events, I had only been to the winery to purchase peaches and had never ventured into the tasting room or strolled the grounds.
Buttonwood is not only a winery but a working farm that utilizes organic practices. They are also known for their peaches but it is the wine that is the biggest expression of the land on which Buttonwood resides.
The tasting room exterior is reminiscent of a post and beam modern structure, typical of sixties and early seventies architecture. The building fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.
The party gave me the perfect opportunity to sample the majority of the Buttonwood portfolio. The 2012 Grenache Blanc, is a light yet refreshing wine with sweet hints of stone fruits. The 2009 Marsanne was very different than what I typically find in a Marsanne. It had a spicy finish that was suggestive of a Gewürztraminer. It is a wine that is ideal with spicier foods. There is a complexity to this wine that grows on you with each sip. These were the white varietals that impressed me most.
The 2013 Syrah Rosé was another refreshing wine that exudes flavors of watermelon and strawberries.
There were two reds that really captured my fancy. The first was the 2010 Grenache – Syrah, a very smooth, balanced and very drinkable Rhone blend that would go with any meal. It is known as the “Cotes du Buttonwood.”
Having recently traveled to Argentina and experienced the countries wonderful Malbecs, I was intrigued to sample Buttonwood’s Malbec. I found this Malbec equally as good as many of those I tasted in South America. It had the velvety and silky texture that I often find prevalent in a Malbec. The dark berry flavors were very prominent. It was balanced with the right amount of earthiness. Malbecs, especially those from France and some from Argentina are too earthy for my palate. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering this Malbec. Not expecting to find this wine in the Buttonwood line up, it was the surprise of the afternoon.
The party was rounded off with a delicious Paella from The Chef’s Touch.
I could not have asked for a more relaxing end to my much needed get away from Los Angeles. There is something to be said about the charm and laid-back atmosphere of the Santa Ynez Valley. This trip was made special with the lure of Buttonwood’s wines.
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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