Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and an ideal pairing for a Thanksgiving feast. Today’s offer is from Alta Maria Vineyards located in Santa Barbara County at the southern end of California’s Pinot Noir region. There you will find exceptional and extremely affordable Pinot Noir, which is a testament to the quality of the growing region and diversity of soil and climate.

Alta Maria is a small, artisan winery focusing on producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the cold and oceanic Santa Maria Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County. Founded by 9th Generation Californian James Ontiveros, and Winemaker and long-time college friend Paul Wilkins, Alta Maria’s wines are excellent examples of a California-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are balanced and complex.

In 2015, Joe Wagner, son of Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards and Owner/Winemaker of Copper Cane Wine & Provisions which includes Belle Glos, began collaborating with James Ontiveros after selling the famous brand Meomi, which put Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara on the map. The two agreed to work in tandem on all future Alta Maria wines, beginning with the debut of the 2014 Alta Maria vintage. Both Wagner and Ontiveros have longstanding roots to California wine country tracing back generations, with the Wagner family in Napa Valley and the Ontiveros family in Central Coast California. “After working with each other for over a decade, I’m thrilled to be partnered with James for the production of these very special Santa Barbara County wines,” said Joe Wagner.

The 2014 Alta Maria Pinot Noir is not your typical Pinot. Medium-bodied, ripe and opulent showing a deep ruby colour, intense ripe red berries and cola with hints of spice, smoke and cedar.

Price: Case of 12 at $241.80 ($20.15 per bottle)

Drink: Now or over the next 3 years

Food Pairing: Roast turkey, chicken or duck with the traditional Thanksgiving fixings, Asian dishes with a touch of spice, mushroom risotto or pasta

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