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

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Gewürztraminer

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

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

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

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Enz Vineyard Heritage 2018

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice wine. If it is not as great as it will be in the future, then so be it. I have more. Mellow red fruit on entry. in its youth it is a very civilized wine. Not harsh or offensive at all, Nice levels of both tannin and acid do forecast an excellent aging prospect. I just checked my (fiber-based) archives and it appears that the fir... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Kenneth Volk Enz Vineyard Zinfandel Lime Kiln Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A good example of the way that Zinfandel grapes can be fermented into very different wines. Translucent reddish-plum color. Very light nose only suggestive of fruit. Light red cherry on the tip of the tongue--I can't think of too many Zins that show that, Lots of astringency as the wine passes back--a minty sensation without tasting mint. S... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Dirty & Rowdy Enz Vineyard Old Vine Mourvedre 2017

    Snoothrank:

    Medium-bodied wine that starts with red berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. Some "dustiness" as the wine passes back, Very brief aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • One more for the books.Kenneth Volk is well known for producing very tasty ... ... of plantings still exists in San Benito, California, where the variety was formerly known as Pinot Saint-Georges. There's a touch of something floral on the nose followed by some black licorice.  This pours out dark in the glass but has a bit of a syrah/pinot bl... Read More

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


  • 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


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