Taz Vineyards


Taz Pinot Noirs will be largely focused here, and a vineyard designate wine will be celebrated most years.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, California.

Additional Information

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Natasha's winemaking philosophy: "I believe that wine is an expression of the vineyard. Outstanding wine is crafted in the vineyard with hands-on care and consideration to the natural elements of the site. If everything is done right in the vineyard, I can watch the grapes take form in the winery. Although, I’m still like a nervous parent, conducting daily tastings and monitoring fermentations!"

For Natasha the oak savannas, Pacific fog and four-wheel-drive terrain of Santa Barbara County are home. She graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, but math and science were not enough. Natasha longed to get in touch with her artistic side, and to somehow fuse her knowledge of science with the beauty of nature. Shortly after graduating, she took a job working in a winery laboratory. She was hooked, and headed to U.C. Davis to earn an enology degree.

The rest, as they say, is history. Natasha’s resume speaks volumes about her talent. She has worked at Stags’ Leap, Meridian Vineyards and Jamieson’s Run in the Coonawarra region of South Australia – soaking up knowledge and experience along the way.

At Stags’ Leap she learned about the artistry of careful winemaking; how to ferment each lot separately, and watch as the individual characteristics of a vineyard develop into wine. During her tenure at Meridian, Natasha made first-rate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and cultivated her knowledge of California’s Central Coast. Jamieson’s Run provided yet another facet to her experience. The cooler maritime climate of the area coupled with its famed Terra Rossa soil provided vital winemaking lessons that Natasha brought back with her.

She says, “What I love about winemaking is that every vintage is different, and no matter how many years I make wine, I will never know everything there is to know.”

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Though Fiddlestix is young, it's no surprise that Pinot Noir fruit from the carefully planned blocks is among the most sought after on the Central Coast. Here in the 700 planted hillside acres that comprise the Santa Rita Hills AVA, winegrowing reputations have long been enhanced. From gentle slopes leading down toward the Santa Ynez River, Fiddlestix looks up on the Santa Rosa Hills, witness to a rolling vineyard that helped define Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Wine critic Hugh Johnson once described neighboring Sanford and Benedict vineyard as "perfect for Pinot Noir." Today, Fiddlestix itself is often noted as a vineyard designate, recognition of its own greatness, still unfolding.

In 33 small blocks a variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in soils ranging from rocky clay loams on slopes to more sandy and silt loams in the flats. Vines are planted to assure a minimal crop load. Clones include Pommard and Dijon selections. Years ago flowers flourished here, but today, on VSP trellis generally in north-south facing rows, grapes open to the cooling influences of the Pacific, achieving long hang times resulting in flavorful ripe fruit.

Taz Pinot Noirs will be largely focused here, and a vineyard designate wine will be celebrated most years.

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Santa Barbara, California
United States

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