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Karen Steinwachs is a refugee from the high-tech world who learned her winemaking under Kathy Joseph at Fiddlehead and is now the winemaker for Buttonwood Farm Winery. Dave Steinwachs was also a techie who offers wineries logistics, warehousing, website and e-commerce solutions through Vintegrated Solutions. They were both big fans of Santa Barbara County wines.
Together, they launched their own label, Seagrape Wine Company. The name comes from their island backgrounds. Dave came from the British Isles and Karen lived part of her life in St. Croix. They manage to always vacation somewhere in the tropics. The Seagrape tree is found near seaside beaches and is a visual reminder of both their winemaking roots and their love of the islands. The vineyard sources for the Pinot Noirs have varied but the wines have consistently fine. A Chardonnay has been produced from the Huber Vineyard.
The wines are sold through a mailing list. Karen is on the Board of of the World of Pinot Noir event. Dave passed away in 2014, but Karen soldiers on.
2012 Seagrape “Jump Up” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
$36. Clones 667 and 777 from two vineyards. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Nice finesse and balance in a red fruit driven wine with pleasing spice and supple tannins. Score: 90-91. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Seagrape Rancho La Vina Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., $40. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of crushed wild berries, spice and loam. Very appealing flavors of red berries, cherries and savory herbs with a spicy note showing up on the generous finish. The tannins are tucked in, and the wine delivers an easy-going, velvety and elegant drinking experience. Score: 92-94. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2010 Seagrape Wine Co. “Jump Up” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 200 cases, $32. This blend is named after a kind of street party that occurs throughout the Caribbean. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of dark red berries, spice and leaf, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Elegant on the palate, with a zip of acidity and supple tannins. The flavors of black cherries and red raspberries are complimented by very subtle oak. A spirited drink that exudes finesse, and is highly enjoyable now. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »
2010 Seagrape Wine Co. Rancho La Viña Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 25 cases $34. · From a vineyard located at the southern edge of the Sta. Rita Hills. Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose offers a mash of darker berries with a hint of oak and spice. Moderately light and elegant in style, with flavors of deep red strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Very smooth on the palate. Nicely crafted and nothing to detract, but lacks a bit of flavor intensity and finishing strength. Could pick up heft with more time in the bottle. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »
2008 Seagrape Wine Company Hibbit’s Ranch Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $32. Looking for something different? This wine was sourced from an unusual 2-acre vineyard located in the far western reaches of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, owned and cared for by a walnut farmer. The climate is very cool and foggy and the vines are stressed by the weather and the wind. There are 13 clones of Pinot Noir inter-planted with Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. 100% de-stemmed, minimal new oak. · Moderate color and medium weight. A very savory expression of Pinot Noir with bright fruit, spice and herbs unencumbered by oak-driven influences. Admirable finesse and a snappy finish. Good (+). Reviewed March 12, 2011 ARTICLE »