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Region: Santa Ynez Valley < California
Winemaker: Steve Clifton
We’ve known Steve and Crystal Clifton, and have worked with their wines, for many years, and man, they’re better and better – and cleaner – every year. A lovely husband and wife duo who trained with some cool winemakers in Italy’s Fruili region, they focus on Italian varietals out of their winery in Lompoc, California. While they don’t own any vineyards, they have long-term contracts and actually do the farming themselves, which is unusual, but allows them to control the inputs and ensure that everything is organic and treated with care. The same non-interventionist philosophy applies in the cellar, where everything is fermented naturally and SO2 is added in small amounts, only at bottling. I always think of Dolcetto as the perfect pizza or pasta wine – easy going and fruit forward (its nickname is “little sweet one”). Perfect for Tuesday night takeout or your mom’s spaghetti and meatballs!