It’s unusual in that it’s not your traditional winery, with rolling hills and beautiful rows of grape vines. Instead it’s a row of low slung warehouses that contain wine barrels and small tasting rooms. What it lacks in visual enticements, it makes up for in good wine.
It’s quality wine packed in a small area. Basically, a maximum density wine experience. You can park your car and walk to about a dozen different tasting rooms with a minimum of fuss.
We jumped out of our car at Jalama Winery and made our way to Fiddlehead Cellars and then Ampelos Cellars. Since the geographical area of Lompoc is quite friendly to the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, we found a ton of both at the tasting rooms.
Jalama’s tasting room had a laid back vibe with benches for sitting and a lazy winery dog basking in the warm afternoon sun. Fellow tasters were buying a lot of the pinot noir but Jane and I found their wines to be a bit light and dry for our palates.
Fiddlehead Cellars, just down the block had a great range of wines from their value-priced By the Glass or BTG Chardonnay to their sumptuous smoky Pinots. The wine was really good but the tasting room was cramped. The staff tried hard to serve everyone and make them feel welcome. The quality of all the wine was great.
Our last ghetto experience was at Ampelos Cellars. Honestly our first server gave us a bit of ghetto attitude and we were almost ready to leave but then another server came by and really engaged us. He asked about what we thought about their selections and even offered up a taste of a wine that wasn’t on the list. Our favorite from Ampelos is by far the 2008 Syrache, and no, that’s not a typo. They are even trademarking the name. It’s 69% Syrah and 31% Grenache. If you’ve read our other entries you probably know that we love GSM’s so this wasn’t really a stretch.
This is one ghetto you will want to visit!