Wine Tasting: Sandhi Wines

Winery/Producer: Rajat Parr & Sashi Moorman; Sandhi Wines.

Appellation: Sta. Rita Hills; Central Coast, California

1712 Industrial Way
Lompoc, California
Tel. 805 618-2707

Grape Variety Tasted: Three Sandhi Chardonnay, four Sandhi Pinot Noir and one Domaine De La Cote Pinot Noir.

Tasting Price: No charge. We recently joined the Sandhi Premier Cru Club that includes complimentary tasting for us and four guests per year.

Comments: We learned about Sandhi Chardonnay from reading Jon Bonné’s book The New California Wine and from his January 25, 2017 Punch article “Your Guide to California Chardonnay’s Third Wave”. After tasting several Sandhi wines we simply had to go the their facility that’s located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. If you have never been to Lompoc or the Wine Ghetto it should be on every serious wine lovers “Must Visit” list. Located just outside of the town of Lompoc, the Wine Ghetto consists of a good-sized industrial park with clusters of buildings each housing about six or eight units…some with signs, most with just a building number, but all filled with winery equipment, barrel storage or tasting rooms. The small winery’s may only have one or two units and the larger ones an entire building.

John, our Sandhi tasting host
Sandhi tasting is only by reservation and is free to their club members. When we arrived for our tasting we were met by John, the “hands-on” winemaker and the person responsible for everything from soup to nuts (or in this case field to bottle) in the Sandhi winery. Just to give a graphic idea of this tasting; after introducing ourselves to John he said “grab your coats and come on in”…and we walked between stacks of barrels to a small opening at the end of a row!!! After some background on Sandhi we spent the next couple of hours tasting each of the Sandhi wines and learning about the terroir of each wine. It was the most informative winery visit we have ever experienced. Unlike most vineyard tastings we were talking with the single person who could substantively answer any and all of Vicky’s wine related questions.

Sandhi wines are breaking the frontiers of wine making with each vintage and being able to learn about this first hand was truly an unforgettable experience. Without question this was an enriching afternoon that could only have happened because John was so knowledgeable, patient and enthusiastic about the marvelous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines Sandhi produces. In a nutshell we thought the Sandhi wines we had before our tasting were truly outstanding, but after learning about the subtlety our appreciation for these wines has just continued to grow.

Recommendation from the tasting: If your looking for a traditional vineyard wine tasting that features a scenic setting and a wide variety of California wines you should choose one of the other Santa Ynez Valley vineyards or tasting rooms. However, if you want to taste memorable Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and have a substantive wine discussion than it doesn’t get any better than Sandhi Wines.

See also our review of: