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.

Fred Brander’s pursuit to produce the best Sauvignon Blanc in California is documented in various publications and by the numerous awards that his Sauvignon Blancs have received. He has put the same effort, dedication and fanatical fervor into creating exceptional small lots of estate Cabernet Sauvignon that push the quality envelope for red Bordeaux varietal wines produced in Santa Barbara County.

Fred embraces his multicultural upbringing by traveling back to his native Argentina and frequently flying to Europe. He enjoys expanding his cultural background by collecting Latin American art with an emphasis on museum-quality Mexican ceramics. He has earned his place in the wine world, as he is often called the “King of Sauvignon Blanc” in California.