The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2017

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82  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2017 INFLUENCERS OF SANTA BARBARA F or travelers driving north of Santa Barbara on Highway 101, the small town of Buellton in central Santa Barbara County is most famous for its landmark roadside stop, home of Andersen's Pea Soup restaurant since 1924. However, something distinctive is happening on the industrial east side of Buellton that is well worth checking out. Local winemakers Rob DaFoe, owner-winemaker of the Rake label, and Etienne Terlinden, who owns the Cordon label and is winemaker at Summerland, opened Easy Street Wine Collective in June 2016 as a shared co-op space for vintners creating small lots of distinctive wines, located at 90 Easy Street in Buellton. DaFoe grew up in Santa Barbara and Goleta, which he left to pursue snowboarding, photography and video production in Europe. There, he discovered a passion for wine, and he returned to Santa Ynez Valley in the mid-nineties, inspired to make his own wine. He figured the best way to learn about winemaking was to make a documentary film, From Ground to Glass, interviewing notable winemakers in the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Rita Hills. Without grapes, barrels or money, yet holding on to his vision of making his own wine, DaFoe met Dr. Wolfgang Hallauer, who grew organic Shiraz. DaFoe made a deal to work at Wolfgang's harvest in exchange for one ton of Shiraz grapes. DaFoe then met experienced winemaker Chuck Carlson, who mentored DaFoe's process from ground to glass and, with the help of other experienced professionals and home wine makers in the Santa Ynez Valley, a little over two years later, in 2005, DaFoe had bottled his first 48 cases of wine. In 2011, DaFoe met Terlinden, an experienced enologist and winemaker who comes from generations of wine aficionados. Terlinden and DaFoe share a desire to support other impassioned small lot winemakers in producing quality, handcrafted wines, so five years later they opened Easy Street Wine Collective and Tasting Room, which had its grand opening this past spring. Currently the tasting room is open by appointment only, but they plan to be open full time on the weekends soon. Presently, four labels are produced out of Easy Street. The Rake and Tanner DaFoe wines are owned and crafted by DaFoe, while Terlinden makes his own Cordon wines as well the Summerland wines. The two men look forward to the addition of other inspired winemakers to their cooperative, meeting people and sharing bottles through their tastings and wine club enthusiasts. Easy on the East Side SMALL LOT WINEMAKING WITH THE EASY STREET WINE COLLECTIVE Rob DaFoe, winemaker for Rake and co-owner of Easy Street Wine Collective in Buellton, CA. Cordon, owned and crafted by Etienne Terlinden, is one of the four labels crafted at the Easy Street Wine Collective. by Dianne Porchia / photos by Betsy Peace

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