Growing & Winemaking   The Radical Reshaping of Babcock Vineyards

by Tama Takahashi  

Wines & Vines    

Since 2008, Bryan Babcock in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County, Calif., has radicallyreshaped Babcock Vineyards using a new approach he calls “pedestular cane suspension” (PCS), which has reduced vineyard costs by 25%. Babcock coined the term “pedestular” to note the innovative use of metal pedestals that support and contain the vine’s fruiting canes and support the subsequent crop.

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Best Santa Barbara Wineries to Visit

Hippest tasting room ever? Babcock's hangar-sized "retro-rock-and-roll" venue in Lompoc is chockablock with vintage photos, antler chandeliers, mid-century furnishings, board games and a party atmosphere. The old tasting room is now the cozy, funky "Soul-Struck Lounge" for private events. For those who'd like to base themselves here, Bryan Babcock's own handsome Mediterranean house is available, B&B-style. Best of all for fans: The Pinots and Chardonnays. 

Food &  Magazine 

 

2011 PSI CLONE PINOT NOIR CHOSEN AS ONE OF DENMARK'S 10 BEST WINES!

Danish newspaper "Ekstra Bladet" sampled over 1,000 wines in 2013, ranking our 2011 Psi Clone among the Top 10

TRANSLATED FROM EKSTRABLADET.DK

"Over 2013 we have tested more than 1000 wines on Ekstra Bladet Wine. Here's our take on the best wines..."

"This is a terrific good Pinot. Lots of raspberries, strawberries in the aroma and taste red cherry and strawberry. An immediate fruit and light sweetness wrapped in soft tannins. A good acid packs into wine. A blast of a wine."

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KEYS 2 THE COAST: Cheers to Lompoc, Babcock Winery and a glass half full

By Donna Polizzi

"Ohhh, and the wine. It’s just superb. It’s not that often that you go in for a wine tasting and genuinely enjoy every single varietal poured. At Babcock, every offering is fantastic. Yes, it is that good.

Keys 2 the Coast has recommended Babcock Winery and Vineyards as a favorite place to wine, dine and explore with friends. As mentioned, you can spend hours browsing, sitting on the patio, sipping their wines or even playing pool. And a variety of games are at the ready if you are, including cards, chess, or checkers. Do yourself a favor and order a glass, or better yet, a bottle of the 2011 Slice of Heaven Pinot Noir. You will experience notes of raspberries and strawberries."

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Layers of the Land

Today, most of the early players remain, the industry is booming, and – with dozens of wine grape varieties thriving – diversity is Santa Barbara’s calling card. Brooks Firestone calls it “an American success story.” And as a new wave of young entrepreneurs rolls in, the same attitude of innovation prevails. “We have all the raw materials,” says winemaker Bryan Babcock, whose family bought land in the Sta. Rita Hills in 1978. “Now we must push the envelope, take everything to the next dimension and stay open-minded to our ultimate potential.”

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A Journey Through the Santa Rita Hills

In search of some great Pinot Noir’s and Chardonnays.

By Hudson Lindenberger

Babcock’s current focus is on their concept of “revolutionary farming” in which Bryan has challenged the way wine is grown by raising the height of the vines to eye level and pioneering a whole new way of shading grapes. The tasting room is housed in a warehouse and offers an eclectic mix of stage props, vintage furniture and novelties. The vibe here is a mix of the TV show Mad Men, your grandmother’s house and a rock concert all thrown into a blender and served willingly by tattooed sommeliers.

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BRYAN BABCOCK'S FARMING REVOLUTION

THE 20-YEAR VETERA OF STA. RITA HILLS INTRODUCES NEW VINEYARD TECHNIQUES AND HOMEGROWN CLONE


BRILLIANT OR NUTS? After three decades watching grapes grow in the Sta. Rita Hills, Bryan Babcock (above) is unleashing a new vine trellising system that he says is already saving him 30 percent in labor costs. “I’m using wind and gravity to sculpt the canopy,” he said. “Some people think I’ve gone totally crazy.”

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BRYAN BABCOCK'S FARMING REVOLUTION

THE 20-YEAR VETERA OF STA. RITA HILLS INTRODUCES NEW VINEYARD TECHNIQUES AND HOMEGROWN CLONE

BRILLIANT OR NUTS? After three decades watching grapes grow in the Sta. Rita Hills, Bryan Babcock (above) is unleashing a new vine trellising system that he says is already saving him 30 percent in labor costs. “I’m using wind and gravity to sculpt the canopy,” he said. “Some people think I’ve gone totally crazy.”

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BRYAN BABCOCK IN SANTA BARBARA NEWSPRESS

"LOCAL WINEMAKER TURNS GRAPE GROWING UPSIDE DOWN"

If necessity is the mother of invention, then winemaker Bryan Babcock may be my mother's little helper.

After more than five years of experimentation and plenty of trial-and-error, the celebrated Lompoc-based winemaker is touting a new way of farming wine grapes. It's a series of practices and gadgets for which federal patents are pending.

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2015 Simpatico, Sauvignon Blanc   Sold Out 92 points
2015 Top Cream, Chardonnay   Sold Out 93 points
2014 Slice of Heaven   Sold Out 94 points
2014 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills  Shop This Wine 92 points
2014 Upper Crust, Syrah   Shop This Wine 92 points
2014 Ocean's Ghost, Pinot Noir   Sold Out 93 points
2014 Deja Vu, Pinot Noir   Sold Out 93 points

 

2012 Radical, Pinot Noir   Shop This Wine

2012 Top Cream, Chardonnay   Shop This Wine

2012 Appellation's Edge, Pinot Noir   Shop This Wine

2013 The Limit, Chardonnay

94 points

94 points

93 points

92 points



2011 Slice of Heaven, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2011 Psi Clone, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2011 Precocious, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2011 Déjà Vu, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

92 points

92 points

91 points

91 points



2010 PSI Clone, Pinot Noir​   Sold Out

2010 Déjá Vu, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2010 Slice Of Heaven, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2010 Microcosm, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

93 points

91 points

91 points

90 points

 

 

2011 Slice of Heaven, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2011 Sta. Rita Hills, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

90 points

90 points



2010 Slice Of Heaven, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2010 Déjà Vu, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2010 Top Cream, Chardonnay   Sold Out

2010 The Mentor, Chardonnay   Sold Out

2010 Naughty Little Hillsides, Pinot Gris   Sold Out

2009  Microcosm, Pinot Noir    Sold Out   {See Review}

2009 Upper Crust, Syrah   Sold Out

2009 Ocean's Ghost, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2009 Top Cream, Chardonnay   Sold Out

2009 Precocious, Pinot Noir   Sold Out

2007 Nucleus, Cabernet Sauvignon   Sold Out

2007 The Loin, Cabernet Sauvignon   Sold Out

92 points

90 points

90 points

90 points

90 points

96 points

94 points

93 points

93 points

92 points

92 points

90 points