Mornings With Gina Birch

There are lots of winemakers in California doing lots of cool things right now. However, Kathy Joseph has been doing cool things for some 30 years. As winemaker and “Head Fiddle” at Fiddlehead Cellars in Santa Barbara County, she is doing crazy things with wine in the Central Coast of California. I’ll tell you what in today’s Wine Wednesday feature.

I had the honor of sitting next to her at a winemaker dinner in Napa last month. She is so vibrant and excited about her wine projects from the field, to the labels to the names. Kathy founded Fiddlehead Cellars in 1989 and is one of Santa Barbara County’s first female winemakers to own both her own winery and vineyard. She does it all from farming to winemaking to sales. When her wines were featured in a scene from the movie Sideways, she became somewhat of a cult success as well.

Wine in the Central Coast

Kathy is credited with helping to define regions like Santa Barbara County and also Willamette Valley in Oregon. She was growing and using grapes from these areas before they were designated AVA’s. One more thing that is pretty cool for wine geeks, she was one of the first to grow and bottle Grüner Veltliner from Santa Barbara County. She even makes a spectacular late harvest wine from the grape. Wine geeks rejoice. It was fascinating to drink these older vintages and see how bright and lively they still were.

Click here for a short video of the dinner and scroll down for some more photos with Kathy. This is a wine brand worth seeking out. She is doing crazy things with wine in the Central Coast of California, and they are all good.

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