25 Mar Grassini Vineyards in the Heart of Happy Canyon
Happy Canyon AVA, located on the eastern edge of Santa Ynez Valley, is filled with horse farms, cattle ranches and six vineyards (Cimarone, Grassini, Happy Canyon Vineyard, McGinley, Star Lane and Vogelzang Vineyards). A recent visit to Santa Ynez took me to Grassini Vineyards, located in the heart of Happy Canyon.
I was there in the early morning, and because Happy Canyon is the warmest microclimate in Santa Ynez and benefits from warm days and cool marine influences, I was able to watch the fog roll-in in the morning and then quickly disappear, giving way to the sun.
Grassini Vineyard was planted in 2002 by Larry and Sharon Grassini and their four daughters Katie, Corey, Mandy and Molly. As Happy Canyon is an ideal location for Bordeaux varietals, the Grassini’s have planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc on 35 acres of their 107 acre property. And, while the streets leading to Grassini vineyards are all named after race horses, the vineyard blocks of Grassini Cabernet Sauvignon bear the names of the Grassini children.
While the Grassini’s sell half of what they grow, they produced their first vintage under their own label in 2006 and currently produce 3000-4000 cases per year.
In 2010, the Grassini Family Winery was built. A beautiful building built into the hillside, it looks out to the vineyards.
The Winery is built with reclaimed antique fir, which has also been used in their tasting room located in downtown Santa Barbara. The entire winery and vineyard is solar powered and the water used for irrigation is from the estate’s well-fed lake.