Winemaker Richard Sanford honored

Tonight, August 11, at 5:15 p.m., join others in watching an online tribute to winemaker Richard Sanford.

Sanford was inducted into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame in 2012 for his contributions to the California wine industry. Following his service in Vietnam, he discovered the West Coast climate zone is similar to the Burgundy region of France and started producing wine that would rival the best in the world.

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With a degree in Geography from UC Berkeley, he learned more about the transverse mountain ranges of California where the valleys open to the Pacific Ocean, allowing cool maritime air to moderate the growing climate.

In 1971, he planted the first Pinot Noir vineyard in the Central Coast and named it the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Ten years later, he and his wife Thekla, founded Sanford Winery and produced award-winning wines for the next 25 years.

When the Sanfords launched Alma Rosa Winery in 2005, they pursued their commitment to organic farming and sustainable business practices. They sold this well respected winery to Bob & Barb Zorich in 2014.


At 5:15 pm PST, watch wine author, expert and critic Matt Kettman lead Facebook Live online tribute and tasting of Alma Rosa Wines. Conversations with Richard and several surprise guests pay tribute to Sanford’s lifetime dedication to the Sta. Rita Hills.

The link to this event is on the Sta. Rita Hills Facebook page, YouTube, and on Alma Rosa’s  website.  The public is invited to join, and may purchase Alma Rosa’s 2018 El Jabali Pinot Noir and La Entada Blanc to taste along with Richard online and later after the presentation.

To purchase wines please visit: 


2018 Alma Rosa Winery La Encantada Blanc


Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed after being night-harvested in September 2018. The two wine varietals (50% of each are in this delightful blend) were fermented separately in stainless steel and oak barrels before being blended and aged in a combination of stainless steel (75%) and new French oak (25%)

The fruit for this delicious wine is sourced from the famed La Encantada Vineyard, that our founder Richard Sanford planted in 2000. Comprised of gravelly clay soils with a slight westward exposure, the vineyard is situated 2 miles west of the Alma Rosa estate on the Santa Rosa Road in the Sta. Rita Hills. These grapes are the only Pinot Blanc and the vast majority of the Pinot Gris planted in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation.

2018 Pinot Noir El Jabali

Alluring garnet to the rim of the glass. Our 2018 rendition of the old vine El Jabali estate vineyard delivers aromas of fig, rose petals and violets. Further earthy and herbal notes offer a complex impression that is characteristic of these 35-year-old vines. On the palate, fresh, racy acidity and bright red cherry and cranberry flavors are balanced by smoky, fine-grained tannins that frame a long and satisfying finish. This vineyard is known for producing wine that evolves for several years after the vintage. Enjoy this unfiltered wine now with grilled meats or cellar for several years to enhance the savory aromas that are classic to our special vineyard.

100% El Jabali Vineyard • Farmed organically under CCOF certification • 3.3 acres of Mt. Eden clone Pinot, on deficit irrigation in alluvial soils.

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