About Us



Whitcraft Winery & Tasting Room
36 A S. Calle Cesar Chavez
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 730-1680
(805) 730-1086 Fax

info@whitcraftwinery.com

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Map & Directions


Tasting Room Hours
Friday - Monday: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Tuesday - Thursday: By Appointment

Please call or email us to schedule an appointment or check for additional season hours.  Appointments must be made in advance for parties of 8 or more.

 
 

The Grape: each year it has unique characteristics and its own taste. Capturing Mother Nature’s whims by putting a vintage on the bottle is how you do wine justice. Wine is not made by following a set of steps that are generic from year to year; rather, great wine is nothing more than Mother Nature at her best, with the grape shepherded by a vintner with no ego to impart upon its natural qualities. In the words of Burt Williams: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That is why we – appreciators of fine wine – have learned to love vintages from specific wine makers and specific regions in specific years, which together with quality yeast creates fantastic wine. This is the philosophy to which Whitcraft Winery adheres.


Chris and Kathleen (Barnato) Whitcraft started Whitcraft Winery in 1985. This was not, however, Chris’ first entry into the wine business, as he had hosted a local wine radio program in Santa Barbara County for more than ten years before that, and had in the process learned from some of the best winemakers in California. They include Joe Heitz (Heitz Cellars), Dick Graff (Founded Chalone and AVA’s), and Burt Williams (Williams & Selyem, and now Morning Dew Ranch) to name a few. What began as a hobby grew into both a passion and a lifestyle, the commitment to which is present to this day in every bottle of our wine.


The winery has evolved significantly over the past two-and-a-half decades, although the value and quality of our product never has. Well-known for our fine Burgundian-style Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, our repertoire has expanded to include a shifting presence of other French (e.g. Syrah and Grenache) and Italian varietals (e.g. Lagrein, Nebbiolo). We make all of our wines in the style of the Old World – hand-picked, hand-sorted, foot-treaded (reds) or lightly pressed (whites), hand-bottled on a no-electricity bottling line, and hand-labeled using labels printed on a several hundred-year-old Heidelberg printing press. We are committed to this style of wine-making, as it allows the fruit to speak for itself.


Chris and Kathleen's son, Drake, has now taken over the family business after having first learned from Dad that wine making is truly an art, and not just a science. In 2005 and 2006 Drake worked in Australia under Pascal Marchaund and Sergio Carlei, both bio-dynamic gurus. They further reinforced his belief that Mother Nature, as well as the Stars in the Skies above, are the boss. Drake also got to work with many different varietals while in Australia. He has chosen to prize quality of wine over quantity, keeping our production at ~2000 cases per year. Tradition and pride run deep in our family, and especially in our wines. We hope that you will join us in our tasting room (see Home Page for details and directions), or order some of our wine to try in your own home.

About Us

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