Brander Vineyard 2401 North Refugio Road, Santa Ynez, CA 93460 805-688-2455
Their brochure says, "A visit to The Brander Vineyard is somewhat like visiting a small wine estate in Europe," and they're not kidding. This was a wonderful surprise and a definite 'must see' among the wineries. They are not on the nearby Santa Ynez Trail, but are worth adding on your own.
The tasting room and surrounding grounds were quite beautiful and really do take you out of Southern California! We found the staff to be helpful and well informed. We walked away from this vineyard quite impressed!
While completing his enology studies in the early 1970s, proprietor
Fred Brander began his wine career working at a Santa Barbara wine
merchant. During this period, he launched his own wholesale and import
wine business, bringing wines from France and his native Argentina into
the US. Longing to make his own wines, Fred and his father purchased a
40-acre property in Los Olivos. In 1975, the first vines were planted,
mainly to Bordeaux grapes. His first Sauvignon Blanc harvest in 1977 won
Santa Barbara County’s first gold medal at a major wine competition. To
complete his vision and dream, Fred began construction of his winery in
1979. The three flags that waive proudly over the chateau and tasting
room make reference to his family roots: Sweden, Argentina, and the US.