Zaca Mesa's Newest Wine is 30 Years in the Making

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo

Zaca Mesa Winery is celebrating three decades since the release of its very first syrah with a very special commemorative bottling.  

The 30th Anniversary Syrah is actually a blend – 85% syrah and 15% cabernet – and is based on archives recently revisited by the winery’s marketing head, Dane Campbell, that show the breakdown of the original 1983 estate release.  The 2013 anniversary wine is a mix of six syrah blocks from the Zaca Mesa property along Foxen Canyon Road along with cabernet from Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara County’s easternmost and warmest growing region. 

“There’s always been this philosophy that syrah and cab work really well together, and I agree,” says Zaca Mesa’s Director of Winemaking, Eric Mohseni.  “Cabernet brings out some tobacco notes and different, more refined tannins that help fill the mid-palate and give a nice texture to the wine.”

Zaca Mesa's Black Bear Block, home to Santa Barbara County's oldest syrah vines. The syrah component of Zaca's original 1983 Estate Syrah release (85% syrah, 15% cabernet) featured the juice of grapes from these vines 
Only 419 bottles – all magnums – of the 30th Anniversary Syrah were produced.  They retail for $165, exclusively through the tasting room.

Zaca Mesa Winery was founded in 1972, making it only the third winery in Santa Barbara County.  It planted the county’s very first syrah in 1978 and its legendary Black Bear Block remains home to the area’s oldest syrah vines to this day.  The 750-acre property – including 150 acres of vineyards and a 24,000-square-foot winery – was put on the market late last year, with a price tag of $32 million.

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