Monday, May 21, 2018
I visited multiple wineries this weekend including Pence, Bella Cavalli, Fess Parker, and Andrew Murray Winery and I must say that Andrew Murray Winery and wines are the BEST of the bunch by a long shot.
TASTING ROOM: Andrew Murray's new tasting room is a beautiful modern masterpiece of architecture with concrete surfaces with large windows but with nice touches of color and texture inside. There is a large parking lot with a sample vineyard in front and a large lawn with games for the kids and ample shade. The bathrooms were clean and modern. There is great air conditioning (unlike all the rest). Couches were nice and soft and there is a nice wine tasting bar with stools.
There is also a private room for wine club members only which was richly furnished and had super comfortable furniture. There is a very cool area to take selfies with an really nice ring light to give you a fashion model type lighting. You can email or text these selfies to yourself and they look amazing!
You could tell this is a real working winery (unlike Bella Cavalli) with the real winemaking equipment on site. Bella Cavalli was a beautiful outdoor setting which was more of a horse farm that sells wine club memberships but doesn't really make wine on the premises. No indoor area to speak of and just a portable structure selling wine and memberships as you look at horses. Pence was a nice outdoor area with a tiny indoor tasting room with terrible port-a-potty bathrooms. Lots of flies and was really warm. Fess Parker was a commercial mess with zero character but a nice outdoor lawn area.
WINE: Honestly, Andrew Murray Wines are the best I've tasted in Los Olivos and he is unequalled in his Rhone varieties. The Syrah's are easily the best in the area and among the best I've ever tasted and what a great value!!! The new wine label E11EVEN are less well known but still better than anything we got at Pence, Bella Cavalli, and Fess Parker. The wines are SO GOOD!!! If you want a plain chardonnay with the sickly buttery flavor you can go to Fess Parker or Pence but if you want amazing flavors and rich tastes then you must go to Andrew Murray Vineyards! My favorite of the new E11EVEN wines is the SONOROUS which is a sparkling white (champagne) and the 2015 Petit Verdot.
Andrew Murray makes his wine without harsh chemicals and pesticides and it shows. The quality control and attention to detail from the type of cork used to the way he harvests and the quality control are why his wines taste so good and are so popular.
Andrew Murray himself is deeply involved at every level of the process and he can talk to you for hours with great passion about his wines. Andrew is super friendly and approachable and really wants people to enjoy his wines. We met him at the tasting room and he wowed us with his passion and knowledge and his amazing wines!
In comparison, the wine at Pence was 2-3 times more expensive at up to $60 per bottle but not nearly as good as the Andrew Murray Wines. Bella Cavalli will make you want to buy wine to remember the scenery but it doesn't taste good when you drink it at home. Fess Parker wine was like the basic stuff I see at the supermarket.
OVERALL: Andrew Murray Vineyards is a must see on your tour of Los Olivos and Santra Barbara wines. You must see his new tasting room at
5249 Foxen Canyon Road
Los Olivos, CA 93441.
Go to Andrew Murray first and you won't buy a bottle of Pence or Bella Cavalli or Fess Parker ever again!