Santa Rosa Road – part 3

(For part two in this series, visit here.)


As you continue driving ocean-ward on the Santa Rosa Road, soak in the effects of the tectonic plate movements from millions of years ago that left these IMG_4987transverse (west-to-east) mountain ranges. It’s this unique formation that leaves the two valleys—one between La Purisma hills and Santa Rita Hills; and the other between Santa Rita Hills and Santa Rosa hills—cooled by coastal fog and wind, conditions ideal for pinot noir and chardonnay.

From the second section of La Encantada, we continue west to D’alfonso-Curren and Arcadian wineries (at 11.13).


Quickly up are Rancho La Vina (at 11.20, 4435 Santa Rosa Road) and the 3700-acre Rancho Salsipuedes—meaning “get out if you can!”—with almost 200 acres devoted to its Radian, Bentrock, and Puerta del Mar vineyards (the latter being outside the SRH AVA).

More stunning views lie ahead, especially around 14.30 where the valley spreads wide between the limestone cliffs to the north and the Santa Rosa hills.



Finally, at 16.41 from the starting point (see the first post in this series for the beginning mark), Santa Rosa Road meets highway 1.

What an amazing stretch: world-class vineyards, rich agriculture in the diatomaceous earth, looming hills to north and south, and—if you keep your eyes open!—plenty of wildlife. (On a recent morning, I spotted a deer, two small bobcats, and a coyote.)

If you can’t get there, then keep an eye out for the vineyards with some of your favorite wines. Watch for Rita’s Crown, Wenzlau, Sanford & Benedict, La Rinconada, La Encantada, Fiddlestix, Mount Carmel, Sea Smoke, etc.


Richard Sanford, who in 1971 planted the first pinot noir vines in Santa Barbara County.
Richard Sanford, who in 1971 planted the first pinot noir vines in Santa Barbara County.


Note: Future posts will focus on Mail Road and Sweeney Road.

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