At Max Downtown in Hartford, our lead bartender, Mike Mills, created this drink for the summer menu. He is a big fan of Russian Vodka and the way it takes to infusions, such as the pepper mix he uses for this drink. The depth of flavor achieved by combining three pepper elements is great and really makes this drink pop. The spicy note added by combining Jalapeno and pepper corns, plus the touch of spice from the Habanero shrub, play off of the fruity elements from the mango and the sweet bell pepper. I think it is this sweet and spicy play that has really made it a popular drink among our guests, plus this drink is surprisingly light and refreshing, perfect for battling the heavy heat and humidity of summertime.
This drink is called the Spicy Tango
2oz Pepper Infused Hammer & Sickle Vodka (see below)
.5oz Pierre Ferrand Curacao
1oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 tsp Mango Puree
5 drops Bitterman’s Habanero Shrub
To make the House Infused Vodka:
1 liter Hammer & Sickle Russian Vodka
½ red bell pepper, sliced
2 table spoons Black peppercorns
1 Jalapeno, sliced, no seeds
Let infuse for 3 days, stirring once a day.
By Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group
This week at Max’s Tavern in Springfield we are very pleased to announce the first of a series of Summer Cocktail parties. The theme for this week will be a celebration of the Summer Solstice along with the introduction of our brand new summer drink list. Come on in and enjoy tastings of our new line-up of summer drinks prepared by Max’s Tavern’s Craft Bartenders, music by the Floyd Paterson Band, and tasty bites paired with our cocktails.
As a bonus feature we will have a sampling and cocktail demonstration using the Boston-based Bully Boy Distillers‘ award winning White Whiskey. Produced on a local farm right here in Massachusetts from Prohibition-inspired recipes rediscovered after being buried for 70 years, these libations are catching the eye of some of the top media and drink makers in the country. We are fortunate enough to have their local representative on hand for this evening to share the story and help you taste these great spirits.
The party runs from 4-6 pm, this Thursday June 20th. See you there!
By Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group
Rhubarb is an early spring ripening plant in the northeast US, and it has been a favorite addition in desserts for many years, especially this time of year where it is often found paired with the seasonal strawberries. With its slightly tart side, it works especially well with sweet berry flavors in pastry desserts such as pies.
Technically classified in 1947, by the US Government as a fruit, as this is how it predominantly used, rhubarb is a plant that grows around the world in moderate climates. Because it is an early ripening perennial it is often ready to eat just about the time strawberries are in season, adding to the close association of the two foods. We make use of the petioles, which are the stem-like parts that hold the large leaves. These look like large stalks and are usually sliced up or pureed to be used in cooking.
This past Friday night (June 14th), I made a cocktail using some rhubarb and other ingredients. This drink was a featured cocktail at the first Chef to Farm Dinner at Rosedale Farm in Simsbury, CT., and was served alongside the amuse course. It is a light and refreshing drink with a sweet/tart component plus that added floral component from the gin. I received so many requests for the recipe that I am listing it here.
Rhubarb Botanical (this was served in a Mason jar, so the overall size is about 16oz)
1.5 ounces rhubarb syrup/puree (see below)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1.5 ounces Cold River Gin (Maine)
dash of home-made Meyer lemon bitters (or similar)
2-3 ounces tonic water
mix everything in Mason jar or highball glass except tonic, fill with ice and then top with tonic
Garnish with sliced strawberries
1-2 stalks of rhubarb in a quart of simple syrup (1:1 water and sugar)
let soak 24-48 hours, puree some or all of the rhubarb for added texture
Now that the days are good and long and our guests are enjoying the patio dining, warm temps and lighter dining options, it’s time to put aside the Porters and Stouts and enjoy some of the refreshing beer options for summer. But what are summer beers? Is there a definitive “summer brew” style like the all-powerful IPA style? The answer, like all things in the beverage world, is a bit yes and a bit no.
Summer Beers are part of the large array of ‘seasonals’ produced by American brewers and we probably have Sam Adams to thank for making the seasonal “craft” brew category what it is today (Sam Adams Summer Ale is currently in rotation on draft at many Max locations, including Max’s Tavern in Springfield). 20 years ago there were really not many options for brewery specific summer beers, you just moved to a lighter style of beer, often by another brewer. Now we have loads of options and the breweries do what ever they can t get you to stay with their brand, but are all summer beers made the same? Doubtful.
Kölsch, Wheats and Fruited beers are probably the closest to true or classic warm weather styles, although there are many folks that would add other styles to this mix. But let’s focus on these, as they can represent some of the best beer drinking during the warm months.
KÖLSCH – this style of beer comes from Koln, Germany, and is traditionally served icy cold in smaller, 8oz glasses to keep it cold-to-the-last-drop. American brewers are recreating this style that is essentially an ale that has been lagered (cold stored to create a smooth, creamy texture). Look for Flying Dog Tire Biter, Harpoon Summer (currently on draft at Max A Mia in Avon), Cpt Lawrence Kölsch, or for an authentic German style get the Reisdorff Kölsch (Max Burger Longmeadow).
WHEAT BEERS – a widely used grain, especially in southern Belgium and Germany, where the lightness and freshness of these beers, as well as their affinity for fruit, make them delightful for warm weather. Arguably the best are the Hefeweizen styles from Germany, such as Schneider (Trumbull Kitchen) and Weihenstephaner (Max Burger Longmeadow), but great American examples can be found as well, such as Allagash (Max’s Oyster Bar), Victory Summer Love (in rotation at Max Burger West Hartford), Harpoon UFO (Max Downtown), and Southern Tier Hop Sun Wheat.
FRUITED BEERS – maybe not everybody’s cup of tea (so to speak) but fruit beers are very popular and sell like crazy this time of year. The tradition comes down from Europe, especially Belgium, where many ingredients, not just fruit were added to beer to mask what was probably poor quality. Over time these techniques and styles were perfected so the best are the Lambic styles from Belgium. American brewers have been making delicious fruit beers in a variety of style for years, as well. Look for Magic Hat #9, Hooker Watermelon, or Harpoon’s UFO Raspberry and 21st Amendment Watermelon (in the can at Max Burger Longmeadow). Traditional Lambic from Lindemans are still popular, as well.
A side category to the fruited beers is the Shandy, which is a mix of beer and lemonade – usually 50/50. This is a light, refreshing style that is low alcohol and easy to drink in the warm weather. Pale Ales (such as Brewtus Maximus) are great here. You can also add Ginger Beer to the mix instead of lemonade. This is called a Gaff, or Shandy-Gaff, and is quite tasty if you like ginger. Each of these beer drinks are available at any Max location, year round.
We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Summer Patio Dinner Series at Max A Mia in Avon, will kick off with a regional dinner focusing on the wines of Piemonte in Northwest Italy, featuring the wines of Marchesi di Barolo, one of the most historic properties in the entire region.
It is at Marchesi di Barolo that the modern style of Barolo was created in the mid-1800s, and is today where innovation and tradition combine to move the region forward with stylish wines. Chef David Stickney from Max A Mia has created a pairing menu that highlights his modern approach to classic northern Italian cuisine served along the selections from Marchesi di Barolo. David Rudman, Wine Specialist from Brescome Barton, Inc, will be on hand to discuss the wines. This is the first of a monthly series at Max A Mia, and the plan is to hold the dinner on our patio, which seats about 40. Please make your reservations early as we expect this event to sell-out quickly.
Max A Mia Presents an Italian Regional Wine Dinner
Featuring Piemonte and the wines of Marchesi di Barolo
Monday June 17, 2013 – 6:30
With Special Guest David Rudman of Brescome Barton, Importers & Distributors
-Marchesi di Barolo Gavi, 2010-
Veal loin carpaccio, morel mushroom salad,
ruccola, tonatto aioli, Reggiano cookie
– Marchesi di Barolo Barbera Monferrato Maraia, 2010 –
Cacciatorini agnolotti, green onion pesto, cured
olives, castelmagno cheese
– Marchesi di Barolo Dolcetto d’Alba Madonna, 2009 –
Cotechino & carnaroli stuffed quail, crispy
lardo polenta, bing cherry fresca
-Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Cru Sarmassa, 2006 –
Braised Piemontese oxtail, saffron spatzle,
horseradish greens, marrow demi
-Marchesi di Barolo Moscato d’Asti Zagara, nv-
Fritto misto dolce, nutella brodetto
$68.00 per person, not including tax & gratuity
Seating will be on the patio and is limited. In the event of inclement weather the event will be held in Max a Mia’s main dining room.
By Brian Mitchell – Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of travelling to Sonoma and Napa Valleys to visit with some wineries and to spend some time with the winemakers for our Max Family Cuvee wines. The news at this point is that we will be introducing a brand new wine to the mix at each Max location, hopefully in just a few weeks. This wine is the innaugural vintage of Max Family Cuvee White – a Sauvignon Blanc heavy white blend that also has some Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Viognier in the mix.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a few hours with Zach Long, the winemaker responsible for making the Max Family Cuvee White, as well as head winemaker at Kunde Estate, located in Sonoma. The white Cuvee will carry a Sonoma appellation, which is different than the red with a Napa designation, and this is the region that Zach Long likes and knows the best. When we were putting the first blends together back in December and January, we were initially working with the Girard team that makes the red Cuvee, but I wanted something a bit different and knew that the same company that owns Girard, also works with Kunde. I liked the wines from Sonoma for their soft fruit and fleshy palate style and was hoping that we could get the same style for the white Cuvee. Eventually we found some wines that seem to fit what I was looking for and so now our Max Family White will be made at Kunde Estate, the best option for this style of wine.
On my visit, Zach took me on a tour of the property which is over 100 years old and is more than 1600 acres situated in the shadow of Sonoma Mountain, just south of Santa Rosa. Kunde produces Sauvignon Blanc as a large percentage of its regular out-put, and Zach showed me the exact vineyard blocks that make up our white Cuvee. These are older blocks that often will held for reserve level wines. Kunde Winery grows a range of grapes varietals, both red and white, and with so much soil and topographical diversity, this gives them tremendous resources when it comes to having many options for blending. Red and white grapes are grown on both flat vineyards and hillsides that range over 1500 feet in elevation. Having this much diversity, it is possible to get multi-layered complexity in wines, adding depth and character to just about everything made here.
For the Max Family White Cuvee, we went back and forth on a umber of different options, finally settling on a blend that is Sauvignon Blanc based with smaller percentages of Gewurztraminer, Viognier and even some high acid Chardonnay to build in extra mouth-feel. I personally get a great response when I serve Sonoma Sauvignons because they tend to bring together the best of what Sauvignon can offer in cool climates like New Zealand – fresh tropical fruits and racy acidity, but also show some restraint that is more common to Loire Valley Sauvignons from France. Balanced and fruit forward this wine will work well with what Max does best, such as fresh seafood as Max’s Oyster Bar, Max Fish, Max’s Tavern and Max Downtown, or great Asian influenced dishes at Trumbull Kitchen, to the salads and lighter fair at Max Burger and our Italian locations.
The label has been approved by the Federal Government and we are now awaiting CT and MA State approval. We hope to have this wine to our restaurants by the middle of June and serving it year-round. We are planning a kick-off party to launch this great addition to our Max Family, details to follow as soon as we have label approval and know the dates for shipping from Sonoma.
By Brian Mitchell – Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group
Lat week I had the opportunity to visit the Napa Valley in Northern California, and one of the people/places I visited was the winemaker and facility that produce our Max Cuvee Red Blend. The winemaker is Glenn Hugo, the lead winemaker for Girard Winery, which is a Napa focused winery that has been in existence for over 30 years. Glenn has been the winemaker at Girard for the past six years and has been responsible for all but the very first vintage of Max Family Cuvee Red.
This was the first year that I traveled to Napa to work on the Max Cuvee, and when I received the directions for the winery it was not a Napa address, which I was expecting, but instead a Sonoma based address. Now, I kind of knew what I was going to be seeing, but it was interesting to actually see where the wine is produced – essentially it is in a large warehouse facility that is home to about 20 different “wineries” and is in an industrial park in Sonoma. If you are picturing an idyllic farm house winery situated among rows of vines somewhere off the Silverado Trail, you have the wrong image of what a winery might be. This building is a long warehouse that is broken into “suites” (sections) where a lot of wine-making is taking place – Girard and Max Family Cuvee among them, as well as notable neighbors Patz & Hall.
Even though the wine-making is done in this less glamorous location, the Girard Winery does not down-play this. In fact, they are proud of the fact that this location allows them to produce wine in both an economical and environmentally efficient manner. By having a smaller more compact facility, with shared resources and minimal maintenance, the costs are lower than having to maintain a big fancy show-room winery. Plus they have the ability to use necessary equipment and other resources to make great wine – things that may not always be available on a farm-style winery. For instance, Glenn Hugo mentioned that the water they use at the facility is reclaimed, filtered through their equipment after use and is actually returned to the city of Sonoma cleaner than when it came in the winery. It also should be noted that the “winery” part of the winery looks and functions just like any winery, warehouse or stand-alone. They have all the equipment and space (even more perhaps) than at most of the wineries I have visited, including a lab, ferment and storage tanks, bottling line, and hundreds and hundreds of barrels for aging. No difference, just not as pretty.
But what comes out of the winery is as good as any comparable facility and priced wines. Glenn spent the better part of the morning walking me through barrel samples of Chardonnay, Grenache (his own label), multiple lots of Zinfandel and other varietals, as well as the new 2011 lots of wine that will ultimately make up the blend for the next vintage of Max Family Cuvee Red. If you follow the wine media at all you have probably heard that 2011 was a challenging year in Napa Valley. The weather was not as warm as is typical, and the ability for many to get fully ripe and mature grapes that will shine with big fruit and tannins was not easy. But this is where the strength and resources of a wine group like Girard comes into play.
Girard is one of the wineries owned and operated by Vintage Wine Estates, a winemaking group owned by industry veteran Pat Roney. Because they have multiple labels and work with so many wineries this group has a lot of vineyard resources to draw from, and this gives them the ability to make very consistent wines year in and year out – even if the weather is less than perfect. Max Family Cuvee Red is made from various lots sourced throughout Napa Valley, including vineyards in the Napa Valley proper, some mountain fruit as well as vineyards located in outer vineyard regions like Pope Valley (still part of Napa, though). By sourcing from these locations, where the affect of temperature and other climate conditions is not always the same, the winemaker is able to really practice his craft and put his blending skills to the test. When I spoke to Glenn about this he said 2011 was definitely going be a year for the winemaker’s “art”. By which he meant that he was having to be very selective and careful about how and what he was blending, but that the end result should be very similar to what we have come to know and expect from Max Family Cuvee.
When I tasted through the lots I could see the impact of the vintage but could also see how changing the varietal blends on a percentage basis could impact the overall feel and taste of the wines. I found the 2011 varietals to be colorful, flavorful and have the aromatics that I am looking for, some of them did have a bit less mid-palate resonance, which is a trademark of the Max Cuvee. We discussed this and tasted some other lots of wine, specifically the Syrah and Cabernet components, which will be used to build more mouth-feel and texture. The Merlot was delicious – full of cocoa and cherry. The Malbec was deeply colored and brought added richness. The Cabernet Franc was beautiful and aromatic. The Petite Verdot was tannic and intense, so will be used sparingly for backbone in the wine. We will not have a final assembly to taste and sign off on until mid-June, and will go to bottle in July, but I expect that the 2011 Max Family Cuvee Red will be as smooth and rich as the past vintages, delivery every bit of complexity and length as we have come to expect.
I think it is important to understand that Max Family Cuvee Red is a “real” wine, not just a contract wine with a label slapped on it sold to anyone. Since it was first conceived six years ago, there has been input from the Max team on how the wine should be styled and any changes that we feel need to be made to make it better. By going out and tasting directly with the winemaker, helping to select the exact lots and the exact blend for this wine, I am taking my own experience as well as direct guest feedback to the winemaker and giving him this critical information on how to create each year’s blend. This is something that not a lot of restaurants do. We sell a lot of Max Family Cuvee, and I want to make sure it is the best wine for the money. By working with Glenn and the rest of the team at Girard, I feel confident this is the case – hopefully you agree.
That was the morning. That afternoon I went to meet the winemaker for our new wine, the Max Family Cuvee White Blend. Check out the next post to get all the details on this wine, which is just about to arrive for us.
Bottle conditioned ale is always a great choice as the inclusion of living yeast cells does any number of things to the beer over time – primarily adding complexity to the aromas and flavors. This beer is called LIVE because those little yeasty guys are added to the bottle just before capping and they continue to make the beer so much more interesting as time goes by.
This is a relatively new additional to the year-round selections from Southern Tier, a brewery that I have come to enjoy more and more as I taste through their products. We have added this lovely Pale Ale to the lines at Max Burger West Hartford and Trumbull Kitchen this week, and will keep it rotating in from time to time at our other spots. It just tastes great, is not heavy or full in style and is about as interesting as it gets.
Southern Tier Brewery operates out of Lakewood, NY, and has been making beers since 2002. We rotate their beers through our lines on a regular basis. You can check out their website at this link: http://www.stbcbeer.com/
The Dauvissat family has been hand-crafting wonderfully precise and complex Chablis for many years. This is a fabulous style from a great vintage. We are very pleased to be able to offer this wine through the Spring, although supplies are fairly limited and we will run out by summer.
Jean & Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Saint Pierre, 2010
Sebastien Dauvissat works a two hectare parcel of vines at the village level. The vineyards are situated on the “back side” of the 1er Crus. The soil here is infused with a particularly high percentage of limestone which permits this cuvée to make a clear statement of its origins.
Jean Dauvissat, and his son Sebastian, are the most recent in an extended line of the Dauvissat family that has been in possession of this notable domaine since 1899. The cave is positioned under the family house which dates from the 17th century and where the road to the hamlet of Chichée begins. The first formal bottling of wines under the Dauvissat label occurred on a limited scale in 1963. Then, in 1978 and 1979, Jean Dauvissat increased production to 3,000 bottles per annum. The physical expansion of the domaine under his management, along with ever-increasing quality and accompanying renown, has resulted in the cessation of sales to negociants and the bottling of the entire annual production of approximately 50,000 bottles. An unfortunate accident resulted in the untimely death of Jean Dauvissat several years ago. Sebastien Dauvissat continues the work of this historic domaine in collaboration with Evelyne Dauvissat, Jean’s wife. The domaine encompasses slightly less than 10 hectares of vineyards. The Grand Cru vineyards are south-facing; the 1er Cru vineyards have a full southeast exposure; and the village property faces northwest. All are hillside sites with an “argilo-calcaire” soil composition heavily marked by small stones that provide for excellent drainage. Of course, the entire vineyard surface is underlain by the Kimmeridgian limestone that makes Chablis one of the most unique wine-producing areas in the world.
The domaine encompasses slightly less than 10 hectares of vineyards. The Grand Cru vineyards are south-facing; the 1er Cru vineyards have a full southeast exposure; and the village property faces northwest. All are hillside sites with an “argilo-calcaire” soil composition heavily marked by small stones that provide for excellent drainage. Of course, the entire vineyard surface is underlain by the Kimmeridgian limestone that makes Chablis one of the most unique wine-producing areas in the world. Harvest levels vary extensively according to age of vines and vintage conditions. Levels for the village wine may reach 60 hectoliters per hectare in particularly generous years whereas the 1er Cru vineyards usually yield approximately 45 to 50 hectoliters per hectare. However, the old vines section of Vaillons (composed in large part of vineyards in excess of 65 years of age) frequently yields less than 25 hectoliters per hectare. The other vineyards are planted to vines between 20 and 40 years of age. The cellars of the Dauvissat domaine are equipped with the most modern materials. Fermentation and elevage of the village and premier cru wines occurs for the most part in stainless steel. The old vines cuvee of Vaillons and the Les Preuses are partially barrel fermented and barrel aged with about 25% of the oak being new. The wines are traditionally bottled 18 to 20 months after harvest. On occasion, certain of the other 1er Crus may pass part of the elevage in barrel as well, particularly when harvest levels are low.
This week at Max Downtown, two new Whisk(e)y were added to the library offering of specialty spirits. I say Whisk(e)y with the (e) because one of these products comes from the USA – High West Distillery from Park City, Utah, and the other comes from Scotland – the Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain, Ross-shire, Scotland. The practice for spelling whiskey without an “e” is common in Scotland and some of the Commonwealth regions, so we must adhere to this. It just helps to tell them apart a bit easier.
The first product from High West is the fourth whiskey we have from this unique and quite frankly compelling producer in Utah. This product is the American Prairie Reserve Whiskey, which is a blend of two whiskies; the first of which is aged about six years and is composed of about 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% malted barley, while the other portion is from ten year old whiskey, which is composed of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley. You will not see an age statement on the label of this whiskey, as it is illegal to do so when there are blended ages such as this, but you will find a truly balanced and deeply flavored whisky that hits the palate with rich flavors of sweet oak and grains, with a smoky and soft finish. Really one of the finest that we have tasted from this distillery to date. Available for a limited time. basically while supplies last, which is usually not very long as aged whiskies are becoming more and more of a challenge to acquire.
The second whisky that was acquired by Max Downtown this week is the Glenmorangie Ealanta. This Scotch is a beautiful whisky that is part of a very limited production range called the Private Edition. It isa 19 year aged whiskey that has spent its time in virginAmerican oak casks sourced primarily from Missouri. The affect of this style with so much age is an ultra-smooth, richly flavored whisky with deep flavors of orange peel, brown sugar and roasted almonds. The expression is almost unique in the world of Scotch, or whiskies in general. Extremely limited production, this whisky will go quickly and be gone forever.
Last night at Max Amore Ristorante in Glastonbury, over 30 guests were treated to a fabulous dinner and the wines of two of Italy’s favorite winemakers. Chef Ted Burnett was on his game with a menu that touched on both traditional Italian cuisine as well as influences with a modern twist (see the menu below).
Guests were also treated to wine coming from both the north of Italy as well as the far south. Starting and finishing with the Prosecco from Primo Franco, a third generation winemaker from the heart of the Prosecco region and his family estate called Nino Franco Winery. Delicious wines that, as Primo pointed out, “are a way of life and can be great anytime of the day or night as they are light and refreshing”.
In between guests were treated to the deliciously fruit driven wines of Diego Cusumano from Sicily. From the youthful and value priced Nero d’Avola (a wine featured on the Max Amore wine list) to the fabulous blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah called Benuara, to the final wine, a 100% Nero d’Avola called Segana, which is sourced from the best vineyards at Cusumano Winery, these wines were as good as it gets.
Next up at Max Amore, Chef Burnett teams up with Max Restaurant Group Beverage Director Brian Mitchell to present a Max Wine & Food School Seminar, theme: Regional Italian Wines and Cheeses. Feb 11th. See the Max Restaurant Group website Calendar for full details.
head of the famed Prosecco house in Venuto, Italy NINO FRANCO &
Max Restaurant Group is First in the Nation with New Wine from Fess Parker Winery
Winery Direct Series Brings Fess Parker Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, 2010, to market
Most people will remember Fess Parker for his acting roles as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett in the 1950s and 60s. He passed away in 2010, but did you know that he and now his family have owned a 715 acres winery and vineyard estate in Santa Barbara for the past 30 years? That his wines have won countless awards? And that this region grows some of the best Pinot Noir in the country?
The Max Restaurant Group is very pleased to announce that we will be offering the newest wine from the Fess Parker Winery; the Fess Parker Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, 2010. In fact Max Group will be the very first location in the country to offer this wine for sale. We have made special arrangements to list this wine directly from the winery before it becomes available for wider distribution later next year.
As part of this promotion, the $18 glass price will be available for $13 and the customary $66 bottle price will be reduced to $48. Supplies at these prices are limited and will only last through February.
Stop into any Max location to try this fabulous wine from a great wine region.
A little about the Sta. Rita Hills AVA…
First created in 2001, the Sta. Rita Hills viticultural appellation is uniquely situated to receive maritime influences that create the ideal climate for growing exceptional wine-grapes. Inspired by the incredible potential offered within this wine region, a diverse group of talented growers and winemakers are producing some of California’s most exciting Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and other varietals. As with any new region, the winegrowers and winemakers have developed a camaraderie stemming from their love of this region and the excitement of the achievements made thus far.
Sta. Rita Hills is a relatively small appellation of approximately 100 square miles. Intersected by the Santa Ynez River, the cool climate appellation is located between the towns of Buellton and Lompoc in Santa Barbara County, California.
Cool weather, fog, wind and the soils limit vine vigor, crop yield and intensify the flavors of the wines. Distinct geology and geography combine to form an absolutely unique maritime corridor. Two east-west oriented valleys represent some of the most incredible dirt and unique climatic influence in the Pinot Noir world.
Other great growers and producers from this fabulous region include: Brewer-Clifton, Clos Pepe, Foley Estates, Foxen, Pali, Sea Smoke, Siduri, Sanford, and many others.