Lompoc Wine Ghetto
It all began in 1998 when Longoria Winery moved into a 5000-square-foot warehouse in Lompoc for wine production and a wine tasting space. Today, in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, there are 30 wineries with more to come. The Lompoc Wine Ghetto is a very large warehouse section where small wineries can set up shop without the expense of building a winery or fancy tasting room. The upside for wine country travelers and wine buffs is there is a large collection of family-run and boutique wineries all in one spot. Typically, these are all small-production wineries like Fiddlehead, Flying Goat and Samsara. Is a chance for wine lovers to taste many wines and find something that more than likely cannot be found in any fine wine shop or in the Wine Spectator. The Lompoc Wine Ghetto hours are rather limited. Most wineries are open Friday to Sunday, 11 am to 4 or 5 pm. We enjoyed a brief visit to the Wine Ghetto on Sunday. It is a little overwhelming trying to decide which tasting rooms to visit. One tasting room, “Taste of Santa Rita Hills,” is a good choice because one has a chance to taste the wines of four different winemakers in one location. Santa Rita Hills is the coolest climate of any of the wine appellations in the Santa Barbara wine region. All the other tasting rooms at the Wine Ghetto are single wineries. Most make their wines in the warehouse area behind their tasting room.
The Lompoc Wine Ghetto will add additional wineries but in our view in order to attract many more wine country visitors, Lompoc needs some quality lodging and restaurants. We stayed in Buellton, about 20 minutes away, where there are a few good choices for lodging and restaurants. The Marriott is a good choice and for dining we recommend two spots. Industrial Eats is the hippest spot in town and offers some interesting gourmet dishes including pizzas. Local produce and meats are featured. It is family-style seating at large tables and it’s a fun, happening spot. We also like the Hitching Post restaurant. We like it more as a wine spot then a quality dining spot. The Hitching Post was featured in the movie “Sideways,” and it’s worth eating there for that reason alone. The Hitching Post makes their own wine, and they offer a great lineup of PInot Noirs on their wine list for dining or for purchase to take home.
Additional details on Lompoc and the Santa Barbara wine country
- The Lompoc Wine Trail and Wine Ghetto
- Santa Barbara Wine Trails
- Santa Barbara wine country lodging and dining
Lompoc Wine Ghetto Slide Show