A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a tasting room in Solvang, California for the Stolpman Winery and I fell in love with everything they had to offer. This was before I got really serious about wine. I now use some of their wines to compare with others and I still feel that Stolpman is still producing a top quality product.
Stolpman is known for their Syrah, of which they have several variations. Each Syrah, whether it is the “Estate”, “Originals” or “Hilltops”, has its own character depending on where in the vineyard it was grown. A personal favorite of mine is the “Hilltops” and I really don’t care which vintage…it’s all good.
Stolpman is also where I became fanatical about Grenache. I love the spicy aspects of this wine and the soft tannins it can have. I also discovered Roussanne here. Stolpman calls it “L’Avion” which is French for “The Airplane” because the grapes are planted close to an old air strip. This wine is very full bodied with rich fruit and honey with a little oily texture.
Another thing I like about Stolpman is a training/ownership program for “La Cuadrilla” (Spanish for “The Crew”). A block of the vineyard is given to the crew to maintain and proceeds from the sales of the wine from that block are given as bonuses.
By the way, the tasting room has moved from Solvang to Los Olivos. And they have added a tasting room in Lompoc.
My last visit which was in December ( I know! I’m sorry I’m JUST getting around to writing this!) I went to the Los Olivos location and was throughly entertained and impressed with Kari, who I could tell loved the winery she was representing….Thank You Kari!