With wine harvest just around the corner, wine buffs making the trek from Los Angeles to Santa Ynez Valley and the Santa Barbara Wine Country must include a visit to Terravant Wine Company in Buellton. Located almost adjacent to Highway 101 near the Santa Rita Hills, Terravant is the latest in custom crush facilities with state of the art equipment. In addition to the custom crush, Terravant offers alternating proprietor services ranging from grape to bottle. The facility can handle 300,000 cases of wine.
The visionaries behind Terravant Wine Company included a comprehensive wine analysis laboratory. As part of this service there is enological-based testing and research center, which oversees all analyses and quality control.
Currently 40 vintners are using this full service facility. Some of the vintners utilizing this facility are Hartley Ostini Hitching Post Winery, Ken Brown, Huber, Semler and Falcone.
For those wanting to learn and see the latest innovations in the process of wine making, a tour of the facilities is well worth it. You might even get the chance to barrel taste some wines including the regions popular Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
In addition to the processing facility there is Avant Tapas & Wine. Opened in October of 2009, one can taste the wines of over 30 wineries either by the bottle or glass at a traditional bar or tastings from the Cruvinet. Tastings from the cutting edge dispensers can range from 75¢ to $3. The dispensers allow one to have a taste, half glass or a glass of wine. At any given time one may meet up with one of the winemakers using this facility and learn more about their wines.
The food is fabulous. The Rosemary Lamb Burger with Caper Remoulade served with Roasted Potatoes was excellent. Another favorite is Red Wine and Spanish Sausages, a mixture of cured sausages and sweet peppers braised in 2008 Falcone Syrah. The Seared Scallops with Garlic Butter melt in your mouth.
One cannot leave Avant without trying the Fresh Chevre topped with Huber Dornfelder Jelly. You will want a second serving of this cheesecake-like dessert without a doubt. Make sure you smile after eating the Dorfelder Jelly. Your friends may be surprised by the color of your teeth. As a note the Huber’s donate all the proceeds from this jelly to Santa Ynez Humane Society.
Wines that paired nicely with the Lamb Burger or the Sausages were Falcone 2008 Syrah from Paso Robles or the Falcone Annate II.
The Shoestring 2005 Sangiovesse, known as the “Big Tuscan” because of the style or the Fontes & Phillips 2007 Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills paired nicely with the scallops.
Nick Morello, the manager of the Avant does a fabulous job of making sure one enjoys the pleasures of the local wineries and food. He is known to travel down to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market to make sure the freshest highest quality foods are available for Avant’s patrons. In addition to being a gracious host, Nick exudes the spirit of the whole winemaking experience. Try to get Nick to give you a tour and you will definitely not be disappointed.
Avant Tapas & Wine is open Thursday – Sunday from 11 AM to 8 PM.
For More Info:
Terravant Wine Company
Avant Tapas & Wine
35 Industrial Way
Buellton, CA 93427