Along Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria California lies Foxen Winery & Vineyard. The winery was established in 1985 by the “Foxen Boys”, Bill Wathen and Dick Doré, who share a “minimalist” philosophy for wine making. The winery name and the signature anchor both come from Doré’s great-grandfather who originally bought the land the winery lies on.
There are two tasting rooms less than a mile from each other and offer a different selection of wines for sampling. The original “Shack” location at 7200 Foxen Canyon and the newer solar powered tasting room at 7600, which opened in 2009, are both open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. There is a $10 tasting fee and it includes the glass. If you decide to buy three bottles or more your tasting fee is waived. Reservations are required for groups of eight or more.
Several visits to the Foxen 7200 “Shack” have always been met with extraordinary service. This visit was no exception. The server was able to handle several groups at a time and was knowledgeable on the wines and tasting locations as well as the philosophy and processes of the winery. She was extremely friendly, as they always are, and was able to bring the entire tasting room full of people together.
The “Shack” offers merely a counter to place your glass, a few souvenirs and a good selection of their Bordeaux and Cal-Ital-style wines.
A recent tasting included the following wines.
- 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
- 2011 Pajarito
- 2010 Volpino
- 2010 Guillermo Grosso
- 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Two additional tastings not on the menu
- 2011 Range 30 West
- 2011 Mission
The pours tend to be generous and there is always at least one extra sampling not on the tasting menu when visiting Foxen. Their wines do not disappoint and are deserving of the accolades from Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast alike.
However you will need to join their wine club to get their most sought after wines. There are three options to choose from but only a limited number of memberships and a wait list to join.
Checkout Facebook or Twitter for listings of Foxen sponsored events around the country including Texas, Las Vegas and up and down the California Coast. You can also participate in their newly announced social media quiz to win goodies from the winery.
Foxen has been listed as one of the 101 Best Wineries in America by The Daily Meal and regularly scores 90+ points with Wine Spectator. If you can make it to one of their events be sure to book early as they often sell out.
The only drawback to this winery is how off the beaten path it is. It is a long and winding road to get there but it is worth the drive once you finally arrive. You should definitely put Foxen 7200 on your must visit list when in the Santa Barbara area. Dogs are welcome to join you and treats will be served from behind the counter.