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Tatomer 2019 'Vandenberg' Riesling, Santa Barbara Co, California

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Tatomer 2019 'Vandenber'" Riesling, Santa Barbara Co, California

Somewhat under the radar, Graham Tatomer’s wines are some of California’s best for Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. Somms like Cara and Simi have often been duped into calling these wines Austrian in blind tastings because Graham’s handle on nuance and terroir is deep. 

Winemaker: Graham Tatomer

Farming: Sustainable with Organic Practices

Varieties: 100% Riesling

Terroir: This wine is a blend of multiple pickings from multiple sites in Santa  Barbara County. A majority of the fruit comes from "Kick-on Ranch,"  while the rest comes from other older vineyards in the area.  

Vinification: Typically,  the selection for Vandenberg are grapes with a higher percentage of  Botrytis, or "Noble Rot." Fermented in stainless steel.

Aging: Aged in neutral oak barrels. 

Tasting Notes:  Richer, more fruit-driven wine. Stone fruit flavors often associated with Riesling, nice minerality, and some slight botrytis notes oft en  expressed as honey, or pollen. 


The reason the wine is called Vandenberg is because the Kick-on Ranch is located about a mile from the Air Force  Base with the same name.

Graham's love affair with wine began in high school, with a gig at Santa Barbara Winery. At first, it was just about the money; but over time, Graham was introduced to the Lafond Winery and its vineyard, home to the oldest Riesling plantings in the Central Coast. He quickly fell in love and decided to take himself abroad to learn more. 

A harvest internship in 2003 was the beginning of a four-year engagement with the Austrian house Weingut Knoll. Importantly, he balanced this with time in Santa Barbara, working alongside Adam Tolmach of Ojai Vineyard. In 2008, Graham set out to create his own winery, which today makes some of the Central Coast’s purest expressions of terroir. Rather than highly manipulating his wines, Graham’s wines are crafted with a light touch, meant to be portraits of the soils and climates they come from.

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