The Gainey family was the first to own properties in both the warm, eastern
end of the Santa Ynez Valley, where they concentrate on Bordeaux varieties,
and the cool, western end of the Valley, where they focus on Burgundian
varieties. The Gaineys are committed to exploring the diversity of the Santa
Ynez Valley to craft quality wines from the Valley's two distinctly different
"The first scents out of the glass are herbaceous in nature. Although this
distinctive varietal character is normal for Merlot, it is often missing from
wines that are made in the popular over-ripe or tutti-frutti style. With swirling,
this brushy veneer dissipates and reveals bing cherry, cassis and currant jelly
aromas underneath. Complementing the fruit is a hint of smoke, and the new
oak is well-integrated. In the mouth, the wine bursts with juicy fruit ﬂavors enlivened by refreshing
acidity. Strawberry jam notes also make an appearance. This is not a heavy,
but a medium-bodied wine. The wine is balanced with just the right amount
of tannin to add structure to an easy-drinking version of America's favorite
"Enjoy now and over the next 2–3 years with your favorite meat entrées.
Or try something different and serve it with artisan cheeses and freshly
-Winemaker Kirby Anderson
The Gainey Vineyard Winery
In 1962, Daniel C. and son Daniel J. Gainey purchased an 1,800 acre ranch on the eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Gainey Ranch, a combination of cattle, farming, and Arabian horse breeding, became the largest diversified ranching operation in the valley.
Dan J. Gainey retired in 1984 to devote himself to fulfilling his dream of making wine. In 1983, he planted 51 acres of vineyards on the northern boundary of the Gainey Ranch and in November of 1984 the 12,000 square foot Spanish-style winery opened its doors to visitors. Soon after, Dan H. Gainey joined his father and together the father-son team have set out to produce premium, hand-crafted wines made from the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County.
With over 40 years of farming experience behind them, the Gaineys have a connection to the land that few vintners may share. Since the original vineyard planting in 1983, the Gaineys have added 32 acres to their "Home" Ranch, which is primarily planted to the Bordeaux varietals Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 1996, they purchased 120 acres on the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley, a cooler growing region more suitable for Burgundian varietals. In 1997, they planted 35 acres at this "Santa Rosa Hills" Ranch to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, with plans for further plantings in the years ahead.
View all The Gainey Vineyard Wines
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.