|Zaca Mesa’s long history in Santa Barbara, California began in 1972 when we purchased the land and began planting our estate vineyard. In 1978, long before most wineries had thought of growing Syrah, Zaca Mesa dedicated a section of our vineyard to this unique grape traditionally grown in the Rhône valley of France. Our vineyard is still home to Santa Barbara’s oldest Syrah vineyard, the Black Bear Block.
In 1995, our choice to dedicate our winery to Rhône varieties was affirmed when our 1993 Estate Bottled Syrah was named #6 on Wine Spectator’s "Top 100” list. That same year, our Syrah was served at the White House for a State Dinner with French President Jacques. Robert Parker, Jr. in The Wine Advocate said of our 1994 Syrah: "...one of the richest, most hedonistic wines per penny spent that I have ever tasted and reviewed.” More recently, Food & Wine said of Zaca Mesa in 2004: "Some of the best estate-bottled Syrahs in the region are found here.”
Today we continue our dedication to Rhône varieties by growing 6 different Rhône varietals in our estate vineyard: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut, Viognier and Roussanne. All of our wines are crafted exclusively from fruit hand picked in our estate vineyard, giving us complete control of the quality of our wines from vineyard to bottle.
Each year we estate bottle: Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne, Z Cuvée (a proprietary Grenache-based red wine) and a small amount of Chardonnay that is grown in the coolest section of our vineyard. Additionally, we make limited amounts of Black Bear Block Syrah, Z Three (Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah), Z Gris (a dry Rhône-style rosé), and a few other winery-exclusive wines.