Tasting notes: This inaugural vintage of Mesa Reserve Syrah is a melding of deeply extracted blackberry with the pungency of roasted coffee, sweet tobacco, tar, and earthy chaparral. Worth knowing: Santa Barbara County’s winemaking history dates back to 1782, when Father Junípero Serra planted cuttings along a creek in what is now downtown Santa Barbara. By the late 19th century, the county had 260 acres of vineyards, but after Prohibition, viticulture was slow to return to the area. Modern vineyards, such as Zaca Mesa Winery, began to appear in the 1960s and 1970s. By the early 1990s, Zaca Mesa’s proprietors realized that Rhône varietals develop unique and vibrant expressions in the area’s climate and soil.