Drake Wines operates a tasting room in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone; a modern, urban wine trail, just blocks from downtown Santa Barbara's iconic beach front.
Drake is a surname on founder Mark Cummins' father's side, and the middle name of is oldest son. "It captures the heart of our family owned and operated winery," says Cummins. "It references a time when adventurous spirit brought the old world to the new."
Cummins and his wife Andi wear all the hats in their business, drawing on their combined experience to produce and sell consumable art. They are dedicated to crafting limited bottlings of 100% varietal, block designate wines that speak through the vineyard and reflect a sense of place. By leasing rows from their favorite vineyard blocks and making wine in the cooperative environment inside the old Lawrence Winery in the Edna Valley, Drake Wines intimately control every step in the process.
The Drake Wines portfolio highlights Cummins' non-interventionist approach to wine. "My wines are very site-driven," says says Cummins. "I know a lot of winemakers pay lip service to their sites, but they end up putting a very interventionist thumb print on their wines. With mine, I try and get out of the way as much as possible. Particularly with my Bien Nacido Vineyards wines - the Block H, N and Q Pinot Noirs for example. Those Pinots are transparent and very representative of those three distinctive blocks. Though the blocks are grown on the same contiguous vineyard site, they highlight the intricate terroir expressions at Bien Nacido."