Mary and Jim Dierberg came west from Missouri, where they had made wine for decades. They landed in Santa Barbara County in 1996 and grow some fine grapes in the Dierberg and Drum Canyon vineyards as well as the warmer Star Lane Vineyard.
Their tasting room is contained in a big, green barn on the Santa Rita Hills property, Drum Canyon Vineyard, on Drum Canyon Road. They pour a flight of six wines featuring both the Dierberg and Star Lane wines for $15. Let them know if your group is eight or more. The amazing staff can handle numerous tastings at once, indoors and out.
Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Fresh green apple on the nose with a trace of herbal and flowers. Great acid. Beautiful apple and citrus fruit with a good minerality. $22
Dierberg Chardonnay Drum Canyon 2013: Buttery oak, creamy quality from 3/4 malolactic fermentation. Great acidity and green apple notes. Available through the tasting room and wine club only. $45
Dierberg Pinot Noir Drum Canyon 2012 : Aged in neutral French oak. Just an absolutely lovely nose. Roses, cherries. Delicate and elegant. The palate shows raspberry, cherry and rhubarb. $44
Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2012: This is from the dark side. Great earthy texture, nice nose of black cherry and raspberry. The palate shows the wonderful SMV terroir. Finishes slightly tart. $37
Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Syrah 2012: Explosive nose, big jammy berries with notes of orange peel and smoke. Earth minerals with a touch of orange zest on the palate. Nice tannic structure. Tasting room only. $65
Star Lane Cabernet Franc 2011: Influence of 35% new French oak shows in the nose of bright fruit and pepper. Red fruit flavor shows pizzazz with a streak of white pepper. Tannins don't weigh down the sip but provide plenty of bite for a steak. $52
Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Red and ripe fruit, pepper and pencil lead on the nose. Great acidity and bright red cherry flavors. $46
Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter