Inhaling Your Just Desserts at Cambria Winery in Santa Maria, CA
I find myself craving a piece of Toblerone chocolate while sipping wine in the tasting room at Cambria Vineyards. “We have a great recipe for baked pears with blue cheese to match our dessert wine,” my pourer tells me. Cambria focuses on chardonnay and pinot noir, but it’s their late-harvest viognier that blows me away. It’s refreshing, instead of syrupy. Dessert wines are rare among the Santa Barbara County wineries, but Cambria isn’t like the rest. Take their free tour and you’ll learn about their extensive barrel fermentation experiments. After Cambria, you’ll be able to distinguish the amount of barrel “toasting” a wine has integrated into it, or if it’s “unwooded.” After all this intense olfactory training, I deeply inhale the bouquet of Cambria’s dessert wine. My nose tells me it was fermented in oak, but not long. My pourer confirms it was in the barrel for only two weeks. Aha! The nose knows!