My first article for BrandX, the L.A. Times's edgier magazine insert, just came out last Wednesday and is up on the web site now. It's about the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, which I visited right around this time last year, and which I'm looking forward to visiting again next week when I'm up at Alisal Ranch!
Rather than the tourism aspect of visiting the Ghetto, I talk about the larger trends that led to its development, and what exactly winemaking in such a close-knit, bare-bones environment is like...and why the wines that come out of it are so darn good!
While researching it, I got lots of great ideas from the winemakers I talked to, including Kathy Joseph of Fiddlehead Cellars, Peter Work of Ampelos Cellars, Steve Clifton of Palmina and Brewer-Clifton, Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke Cellars, Rick Longoria of Longoria Wines, and Joshua Klapper of La Fenetre. Speaking with all these talented individuals really helped get to the heart of just what makes the Wine Ghetto (and the whole Lompoc/Santa Barbara County community) and its wines so special, as well as what sets it apart from California's other wine regions (ahem, Napa, Sonoma!).
So take a look at my article below, and see what you think.