I’m not always trying to pair food and wine, sometimes I just drink what’s open and eat what’s already been made. This accidental pairing was with chicken and roasted veggies. They went quite well together but I imagine this Chard being pretty food friendly. That said, you can certainly drink this wine on its own, but don’t drink it by yourself… call me over.
Riverbench is in Santa Maria–northern Santa Barbara County–and is one of my absolute favorites. They have a gorgeous property, awesome patios for a picnic, bocce ball, and the tasting room is this restored 1920’s craftsman style house on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. Cows originally roamed this property (when dairies outnumbered wineries here), though one of the families that lived here did grow grapes and even made their own house wine.
It truly is a special spot, a must visit.
The Riverbench Vineyard was planted back in 1973 and was one of the first vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley. Due to the area’s cooler climate, the AVA is well known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (two varieties I’m a whore for). And Riverbench kills it with this Chard.
Not only is Riverbench SIP Certified, they’re also a certified Green Business. In an effort to conserve water, the property is decorated with drought-tolerant natives and water-saving fixtures are used in the tasting room. They also monitor landscaping water-use, which is important, considering how dry this winter has been for California. While it seems a bit odd to note their restrooms, the fact that they use cloth hand towels instead of paper saves 52,000 paper towels annually. That’s a job well done.
Outside of this very tasty Chardonnay, there seems to be quite a few reasons to drink Riverbench. Cheers!