Spanish Springs Vineyard

Featured on March 14, 2023

Who: While Oceano Wines is a solidly West Coast label, its founder Rachel Martin has extensive East Coast viticultural roots. As former executive vice president of her family’s winery, Boxwood Estate, she was hailed by Forbes as a “force in Virginia wine” who helped establish a new appellation and give new life to the Virginia wine business. When that chapter of her career closed, she turned her attention to California, teaming up with her husband,  entertainment producer Kurt Deutsch, to found Oceano Wines. Marbue Marke, a native of Sierra Leone who has more than 25 vintages under his belt, is the Oceano winemaker.

"Our wines are like a trip to the California coast in a glass."

Where: Situated just a mile and a half from the ocean, Spanish Springs Vineyard is part of the San Luis Obispo Coast appellation, where you’ll find the state’s coolest climate vineyards and one of the world’s longest growing seasons. A mix of limestone, marine shale, and sandstone soil result in wines with excellent structure and backbone, while cool night temperatures lead to bright acidity, vibrant fruit, and lifted floral aromas.  Thanks to this vineyard’s proximity to the ocean, you’ll find a delightful and persistent briny character present in this wine.

How: A blend of three distinctive clones (96, 17 809.) this wine features fruit that’s been hand-picked and fermented separately. The wine is not subject to no malolactic fermentation, so it doesn’t have that oh-so-controversial buttery quality. It  does, however, have a touch of oak, having spent nine months in French oak barrels.  Oceano is a SIP-Certified winery that has met a stringent rubric of standards for environmentally friendly operations.

Why: Honestly? Sometimes a person just needs a good, uncomplicated glass of Chardonnay. This one’s well crafted, lively, and delicious.

“Our wines are like a trip to the California coast in a glass,” claims Rachel. To which  I say, Take me there.

2021 Oceano Chardonnay is available directly from the producer here>

* In June 2023, look for the launch of Oceano Zero, a line of nonalcoholic wines.