In the 1970s, Walt Babcock, a dentist from Long Beach, California, purchased a piece of property with his wife, Mona, in the Santa Ynez Valley for future retirement. Then someone came along and told him it could be a nice place to grow grapes. The advice was good, and he took it.
Their first full harvest was in 1983, and they shopped their grapes to a few local winemakers (probably all of 12 at that time). A few took the chance on an unproven vineyard's grapes, which led to one of them taking a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair for their Chardonnay.
So, the Babcocks figured they'd try their hand at winemaking themselves. Their son, Bryan, was at Occidental College studying Biology and Chemistry at the time, and soon applied to get his master's in Enology at U.C. Davis. The next vintage is when things got crazy.
1984 was a vintage where everything ripened at once. None of the local winemakers had time for Walt. I'm imagining Walt's conversation with his son went something like this: "You've got to come here and make the wine now!" And Bryan said, "I haven't graduated." And Walt said, "Tell that to the grapes."
And so, it was. And it was good, and it's been great ever since. Bryan has made a mark in the wine industry like few others. He's created some of the best wines in the state, and our selection is right up there.
Grenache Blanc has taken off in this region, and this wine is one of the reasons. Absolutely stunning flavors of stone fruit and grapefruit with a fabulous finish.