This Central Coast vineyard named best in California. Here’s why Food & Wine loves it

·2 min read

Of all the vineyards in California, one spot on the Central Coast is the best of them all, according to Food & Wine magazine.

In an article published in August 2021, Food & Wine featured a list of the 17 top vineyards in the state and said the secret to picking the best California wine is knowing the best vineyards and then spotting them on the label.

No. 1 on the magazine’s list? Bien Nacido Estate, nestled in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County.

What Food & Wine says about Bien Nacido

Bien Nacido Estate, established in 1973 by brothers Stephen and Bob Miller, has become a source for cool-climate chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah grapes for more than 83 wineries.

Food & Wine magazine says that it is Bien Nacido’s “pronounced acidity” that makes the wines that come from this vineyard so enjoyable, resulting from “the site’s undulating hills and varying slopes and aspects, which are treated to Pacific Ocean breezes funneling up through the uniquely west-east oriented Santa Ynez Mountains.”

The magazine is not the first to recognize Bien Nacido, as it has been continuously ranked as one of the top vineyards in the past 20 years by other national and international publications, according to the vineyard’s website.

Food & Wine recommends trying the pinot noir and chardonnay wines sourced from Bien Nacido, particularly those from Au Bon Climat, Qupe and Migration.

The magazine said “one of the most classic expressions of the site” is the 2017 Au Bon Climat Historic Vineyards Collection Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley. This wine offers “sleek, bright citrus aromas and flavors alongside toasty, buttered brioche, yellow apple, and vanilla bean notes. Potent floral aromas on the long finish,” the magazine said.

Bien Nacido wasn’t the only Central Coast winery to make Food & Wine’s list.

The James Berry vineyard in Paso Robles earned 16th place thanks to its “highly desirable” grenache and syrah grapes.

How to get to know Bien Nacido

Wine-loving locals and visitors to the Central Coast can try out the flavors of Bien Nacido Estate at its Los Olivos testing room, located at 2963 Grand Ave.

Guests can try wines from both Bien Nacido Estate and its sister winery, Solomon Hills Estate. The wine tasting experience can be booked through the vineyard’s website.

For those who don’t want to venture out, Bien Nacido Estate also offers a collection of Estate and Black Label wines that can be purchased online, with some of the offerings exclusive to their Wine Club members.