Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard

3.68/4

3940 Dominion Road , Santa Maria, CA 93454

About This Winery

At the northernmost end of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail lies the unique and interesting winery of Cottonwood Canyon. Sitting on a small hillside, the rectangular tasting facility sits above the wine caves as it looks out over the Santa
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At the northernmost end of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail lies the unique and interesting winery of Cottonwood Canyon. Sitting on a small hillside, the rectangular tasting facility sits above the wine caves as it looks out over the Santa Maria Valley and the cool coastal estate vineyards.

The vineyard’s close proximity to the ocean allows slow ripening and longer “hang time” to improve sugar and acid development. Fifty-six acres are planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah and are used to produce meaty, long-lived, high-acid wines. These “distinctively different” wines are paired with food as part of the Cottonwood Canyon tasting experience. Olives, cheese, breads and spicy vegetables are matched to the full-flavored wines. Cottonwood Canyon is also one of the few wineries that offers older reserve vintages for tasting.

A small kitchen is found in the back room, along with comfy chairs and a chess board. Barrels topped with wooden planks create individual tasting tables. A lovely deck looking east over the vineyards has an outdoor fireplace, overhead trellises and a fountain. See video at VineStories.

The winery and vineyard conceal the 6,000 square feet of wine caves that serve as barrel rooms, as well as the Cask Room event area. Tours of the caves, along with barrel tastings, are available at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on weekends and by appointment. Wines available include various vintages of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, and red Bordeaux blends.

 

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Winery Information

Hours: Daily 10:00 to 5:30 pm
Tasting Fees: Tasting fee ranges from $7 to $15 and includes souvenir glass
Tours: Scheduled Tours, Tours by Appointment
Price Range: $15 to $100 per bottle
Established: 1988
Vineyards: 56 acres
Production: 2000 cases

Amenities

  • Barrel Sampling

Ambiances

  • Casual & Relaxed
  • Family Run
  • Kid Friendly
  • Off the Beaten Path

Wine Types

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chardonnay
  • Estate Grown Wines
  • Pinot Noir
  • Syrah

Winery Map

Wineries


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Reviews

3.8/4
3.6/4
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3.8/4

We stopped here on our tour of 15 local wineries and enjoyed their vintage wines and snacks. Do not overlook the dessert wine, we thought it was quite good with the chocolates provided.

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This winery is my personal favorite and I visit every time I am in the area. As previously mentioned, all the wines are allowed to age. The chardonnays are the best anywhere especially the 04' Barrel select which I bought without a tasting. The staff is knowledgable and very accomdating. I hope the winemaker continues this style of winemaking. I will be back many times in the future.

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This was a very good stop for our group last week. We were able to go on the cave tour that included tasting right from the barrels. Our host, Norm, was the owner and he was very animated and interesting in explaining his philosophy of wine making, aging and tasting. We had some nibbles along with the wine and ended up on their outside deck with a spectacular view of the Santa Maria Valley. We highly recommend a stop at Cottonwood Canyon.

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This was a very good stop for our group last week. We were able to go on the cave tour that included tasting right from the barrels. Our host, Norm, was the owner and he was very animated and interesting in explaining his philosophy of wine making, aging and tasting. We had some nibbles along with the wine and ended up on their outside deck with a spectacular view of the Santa Maria Valley. We highly recommend a stop at Cottonwood Canyon.

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It is nice to go and taste wine that is ready to drink and not the freshly bottled numbers you usually get. Nice place and the owner was there to talk to us.

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It is nice to go and taste wine that is ready to drink and not the freshly bottled numbers you usually get. Nice place and the owner was there to talk to us.

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Not far from Santa Maria but a world away! It is not often that you can taste aged wines in a tasting room but the philosophy here is to age the wines before they are released instead of pumping the new wines out as soon as they are bottled. The style is more reminiscent of a European wine with very flavorful wines but not overly fruity. The owner is good at explaining his style of winemaking and offers little nibbles of vegetables and such to enhance the experience. Also they have some of the few wine caves in the area.

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With 20 wines on the tasting list and not a single one less than five years since the vintage, you begin your tasting with great anticipation. You'll never hear "this is a little young still" at this place. Everything was great and the aging makes all the difference. Don't miss the Syroir - yes, a blend of Syrah and Pinot Noir, excellent. We even took a Cave tour with our friends, I hope to have dinner there some time!

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The staff wasn't overly friendly but cordial and we ADORED their dessert wine (which we normally aren't huge fans of as most are syrupy and sickeningly sweet). We purchased their 2005 Estate Dessert Syrah which wasn't too sweet but rather chocolaty and very, very smooth....yum! We are thinking about making another trip to buy a case!

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Nice place. The tasting fee is a bit pricey but they have the oldest chardonnays in Santa Maria. I'm not a chardonnay person but these were very good and I loved how they matched them with pickled asparagus and olives. Other than the chards nothing blew me away.

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