The Fabulous Lompoc Wine Ghetto (map)

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Naturally, you might be wondering what the "Lompoc Wine Ghetto" is. Simply put, the Lompoc Ghetto is a collection of 13 wine tasting rooms located just under an hour north of Santa Barbara on Highway 1. The Ghetto is a wine tasting destination that is much closer to Los Angeles than Napa or Paso Robles. It's also far more coastal (10 minutes from the beach), making it a great wine tasting destination weekend sure to be encased in fabulous weather. If you have not yet heard of, or have not yet been to the Ghetto, the term might seem like a joke - but it isn't. To locals, the term brings no mild laughter and is in no way perceived as an insult. "Ghetto" is a term of endearment used to describe an industrial collection of ugly metal buildings that house 13 tasting rooms and 20+ production facilities for local winemakers. We're a family here. We loan and borrow pallet jacks, grape presses and barrels from each other if we're in a pinch. We love to help each other when we can, but we are not a co-op. We are a group of wine loving entrepreneurs that produce wine in Santa Barbara County, much of which is produced from grapes grown in the acclaimed Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

If you visit the ghetto during the fall, look out for cellar rats zooming around on forklifts. You'll watch grapes coming in on trucks, soon to be squished into a sticky mess of pulp and juice, empty bins heading back out to local vineyards, and the occasional break from work being taken - we call them harvest lunches, and they are GREAT! Each winery here has a different set of wines they produce with unique forte and flair. You may be aware that the region is renowned for Pinot Noir (Have you seen the movie Sideways?) and Chardonnay. You will be potentially thunderstruck when you discover Syrah and Viognier from this region.

According to Wikipedia, the term ghetto is stated as an "overcrowded urban area". But I ask you this, can you have TOO many wineries in one location? I don't believe so. This collection of wine tasting rooms is extremely convenient. No more roshambo with friends where some unlucky sap saddles up on a Saturday as the designated driver. That would be so ... Napa. Here you can park your car and walk all day to and from various tasting rooms to sample the craft. We're excited to share our passion with you. Most wineries are open Thursday through Sunday from 11-5. Pencil us in.

Zotovich Vineyards & Winery Tasting Room →