Brick Barn Wine Estate
New Kid on the Block
Brick Barn Wine Estate, “the new kid on the block,” (opening spring of 2018), is making quite a splash in the local wine country community. Located on the CA246 (Buellton exit), about 1.5 miles west of the 101 freeway, Brick Barn sits on the westernmost fringe of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. So, when exiting the freeway, ‘”Go West young man (or woman),” you will be pleased you did.
The refurbished winery and tasting room is in the original, architecturally designed 50 year old “brick barn” which was once used as an Arabian stud farm and breeding facility. Walking up the path from the parking area to the entrance, you can’t help but be impressed by the overall elegance of the building, the surrounding vineyards, and Sta. Rita hills that are part of the pastoral vista. Approaching the open door you will experience a “wow, this is beautiful” moment, looking into the tasting room with its impressive chandeliers, expansive bar and winery. After a friendly greeting, sample the initial release (already award winning), enjoy the ambience, personable staff and glimpse the future of what is becoming a destination winery.
From Snowboarder to Winemaker
Rob DaFoe has had an interesting journey, leading him to be head winemaker at Brick Barn Wine Estate. “Back in the day” (being the 1990’s), this Santa Barbara born native had a wanderlust about him, a need for exploration and adventure. Athletic, adventurous, and loving to “push the edge,” Rob found himself in the world of professional snowboarding way before snowboarding became a popular competitive and professional sport. Spending time on the European circuit, Rob became enthralled with the “lifestyle of wine,” and knew one day-this would be his calling.
Fast forwarding, Rob returned to the United States, became involved in video production, and in 2006 produced a video, “From Ground to Glass” which premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. The rest is (almost) history, as Rob morphed into a winemaking career, producing a single vineyard Cabernet, collaborating with Jeff Tanner (Tanner DaFoe label) and starting his own label, Rake. These successes led to his position as head winemaker for Brick Barn. Rob’s love of adventure and artistry translates into his vision of winemaking. Passion, mixed with romanticism, Rob refers to himself as a “winegrower,” taking and nurturing the grapes from the ground, so they may be enjoyed in your glass. Looking forward, Rob’s wine creations will be edgy, enticing, sophisticated, creative, full of energy, and will push boundaries in winemaking, just as he did on the slopes. How much fun is this going to be!
The Tasting Room Is Not Just “A Tasting Room”
As you enter Brick Barn, you may want to sip and chat at the spacious tasting bar, or relax in one of the comfortable seating areas spread throughout the tasting room. Your wine host will guide you through the tasting menu of the day, which currently features Brick Barn’s initial release. Adjacent to the tasting room is an outside patio seating area, with fire pits, looking out over the vineyards and surrounding Sta. Rita Hills.
Relaxing, elegant and sophisticated, a visit to Brick Barn Wine Estate is the perfect kick off to your Wine Country Weekend.