Alma Rosa Winery
What’s In a Name
Alma Rosa wines express the distinctive spirit and character of the soils, sun exposure, fog and cooling winds; they express over four decades of experience in this beautiful sub-region of Santa Barbara wine country. Their deep connection to the region is reflected in the name, Alma Rosa.
The literal translation from Spanish to English of Alma Rosa is “Soul of the Rosa” or “Soul of the Rose”. The story of their name holds a deeper meaning. Upon establishing Alma Rosa in 2005, Thekla and Richard Sanford committed to producing wines for friends, family and supporters who had been fans of both Sanford & Benedict and Sanford Winery and Vineyards. They envisioned wines that spoke of place and reflected the land that they are made from; wines that echoed the Alma, or soul, of the home ranch and estate Vineyard El Jabalí. The old timers of the area refer to the hills on the south edge of the Alma Rosa estate, the Santa Rosa Hills, as “The Rosa”; the wines thus reflecting the “Soul of the Rosa”. The estate ranch is a portion of the Rancho Santa Rosa, an original California land grant established in 1839 and where the certified organic El Jabalí vineyard is planted. The vineyard was planted in 1983 and is Santa Barbara’s first certified organic vineyard.
Richard Sanford came to Santa Barbara County 45 years ago with a desire to find a cool climate area ideal for growing Pinot Noir grapes. In a region that was once blanketed solely in bean and flower fields, he was the first to recognize the wine growing potential of the Sta. Rita Hills. Richard was the first to plant Pinot Noir vines in what is now an officially accredited American Viticulture area, he is a pioneer with a well-established reputation for excellence in winemaking. Some of the legendary vineyards that are listed to his name include Sanford & Benedict (1971), El Jabalí (1983), La Rinconada (1995) and La Encantada (2000). In 2012, Richard was inducted into the vintners Hall of Fame in honor of his visionary efforts in the development of California wine.
Working in partnership for more than 35 years, Thekla and Richard Sanford founded multiple successful winegrowing enterprises. Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards represents the culmination of a lifetime’s experience. They are an organization dedicated to creating high quality, elegant and balanced wines while setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agricultural methods and environmentally friendly commerce.
Today, Richard continues to be fully immersed in all aspects of the business. In partnership with the Zorich family, Richard is able to focus on the aspects of the industry that he loves the most: grape growing, winemaking and sharing Alma Rosa with the community and with the world.
A New Alma Rosa
In the spirit of their founding pioneer Richard Sanford, Alma Rosa continues to grow and bring the elegant and thoughtful expression of the Sta. Rita Hills to the world through world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Recently, they have launched several new ranch experiences to entertain guests on their historic property providing tours and private tastings in a newly renovated, historic ranch house. These tours and private tastings provide the opportunity for you to feel the “Soul of the Rosa”. With their new winemaker Nick de Luca the wines show new focus and truly express the vineyards from where they are sourced in a vibrant and exciting way. You have an open invitation to come and visit their newly built industrial tasting room located on Industrial Way in Buellton. Please visit their website for further information or to make reservations.