San Benito Wine

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The wine industry of the San Benito appellation is well on the way to reestablishing itself as a viable and dynamic viticultural region. Once home to industry giant, Almaden, the appellation’s wine industry shook under what must have felt like a massive earthquake when its biggest winery sold out in the late 1980s. By 1994, the appellation’s acreage under vine fell well below 1,000 acres. With renewed interest in the region, that number rebounded to over 3,000 acres by 2002. The climate of this appellation is generally moderate, cooled by Pacific Ocean breezes that penetrate through gaps in the Gavilan and the Santa Lucia mountain ranges. However, climactic generalizations don't do justice to this viticultural area, as wide variations in elevation and soil structure provide unique microclimates. This appellation encompasses three different AVAs. Inspired vineyard projects, notably Dyson’s Vista Verde and Diageo’s Blossom Hill, combined with appellation-commited wineries could put San Benito back Read more »

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Popular wines made in San Benito under $20

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Varietals Produced in San Benito View all

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

  • Gewürztraminer

    Gewürztraminer’s direct and obvious charm has made it a popular varietal in almost every corner of the wine world. Ex...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

Popular Wineries in San Benito View all

  • Calera Wine Company

    This forty-year old winery is located in the limestone-rich Gavilan mountains of San Benito Cou...

  • Léal Vineyards

    Léal Vineyards is the creation of a self-taught wine fanatic. Owner Frank Léal is living his drea...

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San Benito on Snooth

  • Donati Family Vineyard Paicines Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Had at Eddies. Read More

    Wine review by gmb468


  • So Peter Mathis, who has worked at Ravenswood for eons, has his own grenache ... that came from old vines in San Benito County--a little off the beaten path.  It was a candidate for wine of the year for me that year because it was very inexpensive.  Apparently it was a market failure, but I liked it. Unti makes grenache, and it's a good candid... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...


  • Calera Viognier Mount Harlan 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Every wine at this winery was fantastic, and this particular one was exceptional. Upon leaving Morro Bay for our 4th of July vacation, my Wife did not close the trunk all the way. All of a sudden, the sound of broken glass is heard smashing behind our car. A full cooler and an 8-pack box of splits falls out. After returning to pick them up, n... Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Calera Pinot Noir Mount Harlan Mills Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Every wine at this winery was fantastic, and this particular one was exceptional. Upon leaving Morro Bay for our 4th of July vacation, my Wife did not close the trunk all the way. All of a sudden, the sound of broken glass is heard smashing behind our car. A full cooler and an 8-pack box of splits falls out. After returning to pick them up, n... Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Calera Pinot Noir Mt. Harlan Selleck Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Every wine at this winery was fantastic, and this particular one was exceptional. Upon leaving Morro Bay for our 4th of July vacation, my Wife did not close the trunk all the way. All of a sudden, the sound of broken glass is heard smashing behind our car. A full cooler and an 8-pack box of splits falls out. After returning to pick them up, n... Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Every wine at this winery was fantastic, and this particular one was exceptional. Upon leaving Morro Bay for our 4th of July vacation, my Wife did not close the trunk all the way. All of a sudden, the sound of broken glass is heard smashing behind our car. A full cooler and an 8-pack box of splits falls out. After returning to pick them up, n... Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Calera Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Every wine at this winery was fantastic, and this particular one was exceptional. Upon leaving Morro Bay for our 4th of July vacation, my Wife did not close the trunk all the way. All of a sudden, the sound of broken glass is heard smashing behind our car. A full cooler and an 8-pack box of splits falls out. After returning to pick them up, n... Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Derose Vineyards Continental Cabernet Cienega Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • I've had the Graciano (still have a bottle, was bought at slight discount ... ... (living in Napa vs. San Benito, say) and 2) getting the value consumer in the US to buy good grenache or graciano takes more effort than selling them sub-par Cabernet.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Derose Zinfandel 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Sampled this at the Morgan Hill Wine Stroll on 4/26/14. DeRose had a red blend that was also very good but THIS was delicious. Very rich and full-bodied but not overpowering. Read More

    Wine review by Eco13


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