In a proper tasting, wine must be held up to the light to gauge its color, tossed on a cat's back to judge its acidity, and sipped through a crazy straw to annoy the host. Become the toast of any tasting with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a wine-tasting package with two premium Chief's Peak wine-tasting flights, two souvenir Reidel Casa Barranca wine glasses, and your choice of a bottle of 2008 Santa Rita Hills pinot noir or 2010 sauvignon blanc at Casa Barranca Winery Tasting Room in Ojai (a $76 value).
A certified-organic winery, Casa Barranca nurtures grapes from their infancy and extracts elixirs by blending Old World traditions with contemporary craftsmanship. Step into its mural-embossed tasting room and sip flights of sustainably savvy wines juiced from organic syrah, grenache, semillon and viognier grapes, all soaked in the rays of Ojai Valley sun. Tasters imbibe in juicy nuances with a two-person tasting flight, filling souvenir Reidel glasses with boutique-bred wines. Take advantage of tastings by comparing varieties from a specific region, grapes from diverse regions, or purple mouth stains on one another's lip regions. Postsampling, an important decision awaits between the tangy, fruit-based aromas of the sauvignon blanc or a stately bottle of Santa Rita Hills pinot noir, entertaining palates with forward flavor advances from cherries and raspberries.
While the winery itself is not open to the public, it's situated on the National Historic Landmark of Casa Barranca Estate and ferments grapes in an underground stone unit without the presence of toxic solvents, cleaners, or transient gnomes attempting to refill empty flasks.
Before they could move into their dream winemaking facility, the proprietors of Casa Barranca had to exhume it. The team dug 15 feet into the earth and hacked their way through two feet of stone in order to gain access to a century-old stone water cistern, which they subsequently converted into a solar-powered underground winery. Today, the winemakers handcraft Old World–style varietals from organic grapes that flourish in the Ojai Valley's warm climate.
Grown and farmed without pesticides or herbicides, the grapes are part of the natural, sustainable practices that earned Casa Barranca the first organic certification for a winery in the Santa Barbara region. They're also what give Casa Barranca's critically lauded and award-winning wines their fruity, earthy flavors. Visitors can sample these bouquets amid murals of the local wine region in the winery's tasting room, located in downtown Ojai's Historic Arcade.
208 E Ojai Ave.
Ojai, California 93023