The Brander Vineyard has been a Santa Barbara County staple since 1975, when Fred Brander, an immigrant from Argentina, settled in the area to become a vintner after a career as an importer focusing on the wines from his native Argentina and from France. Although the vineyard continues to produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, Brander’s emphasis has been on white wines, particularly his Sauvignon Blanc, which won the county’s first gold medal for winemaking at the Los Angeles County Fair in 1978. One of Brander’s most interesting releases by far, however, is the Brander Cuvée Nicolas Santa Ynez 2003, an engaging confection consisting of 75 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 25 percent Sémillon. The flavors are a blend of nectarine, lemongrass, licorice, and candied citrus tied together with a wispy strain of cedar.
The Brander Vineyard