Milling About visits the Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone. Our first stop is Cottonwood Canyon (www.cottonwoodcanyon.com) hosted by Randy. Known for their Pinot Noir, it's the first winery in Santa Barbara county to be put in caves; 6,000 square feet to keep the temperature and humidity constant for fine wines. They also have a European style 2001 Pinot with hints of earthy peat moss, mushroom truffle, caramel smoke and then the berries (in that order). Randy says their 'slap upside the head' perfect prime rib Syrah has red licorice and plum flavors. And their dessert Syrah comes with instructions to go perfectly with chocolate.
Our next stop is the Santa Barbara Winery (www.sbwinery.com) hosted by Shai. It's the oldest winery in the Funk Zone. Their white wine is produced on the premises and their reds are done at Lafond vineyards in the Santa Rita hills. Their Pinot Gris has aromatics of granny smith apple and green pear; Shai recommends it as a cocktail wine. Their Reislings have different levels of sweetness to the amount of alcohol; the less sugar goes well with spicy thai and the sweeter wine is described as a cheesecake dessert.
Our last stop is Riverbench Winery (www.riverbench.com) known for their sparkling wines; hosted by Cassie. Their Blanc de Blanc has notes of apple, kiwi and a toastiness that is attributed to an unfortunate fire but lends itself to a delicious smokey flavor. Check out their Valentine's Day mixer with a never before tasted Pinot and game night where you can taste wine and challenge yourself to Twister!