We’re so glad we found Foxen Wines, a label that’s become one of our most popular pours in the bar.
If you head down Foxen Canyon Road into the heart of the Santa Barbara wine country, you can see the remnants of Foxen Wines’ growth in the form of their original tasting shack. These days, the tasting rooms have grown with the winery, and the winery is now solar powered, but the rustic roots remain.
Incidentally, “the shack” is also one of the wineries on the “Sideways Wine Trail,” since it appeared in the film Sideways as the tasting room where Jack helps himself to a second pour of wine when the server turns her back.
It’s definitely worth a visit, but to save you a trip to Santa Barbara, we’ve brought this gem of a winery to our shelves and your glasses.
Owners Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine here since 1985, and while the main tasting room and winemaking facilities may have gotten an upgrade the approach has always been to create small-production “minimalist” wines. They also focus on sustainability, using approaches like solar powered winemaking.
The name “Foxen” comes from William Benjamin Foxen, Dick’s ancestor who arrived in Santa Barbara as a sea captain in the 1800s. He purchased Rancho Tinaquaic, which has been passed down to Dick through his family and is now where the winery stands. Captain Foxen’s brand was the anchor that is now the iconic logo on Foxen’s label.
Bill and Dick make wines from Bordelais, Burgundian, Rhone, Loire and Italian varieties. Bill has an extensive winemaking background, including experience at the historic Tepusquet Vineyard (now Cambria) and Nelson Vineyard (now Byron) and then under Dick Graff as vineyard manager at Chalone. At Foxen, he tends the only dry-farmed vines in the AVA.
We love them for their “full-throttle, rich Pinot Noirs”. Come over and have a glass with us!