Santa Rita Hills is a very small and cool appellation within Santa Barbara County. Wine growing dates back just over 50 years here, but in the last 20 it has grown into one of the most sought-after Pinot Noir regions within California. Our cool micro-climate, marine influence, and soils rich in minerals (diatomaceous earth) make not only the Pinot Noir noteworthy but produce Chardonnay that is complex and age-worthy.
(Note: when Santa Rita Hills is listed on a wine label, it must be abbreviated to Sta. Rita Hills by law…long story.)
The Morettis moved to the Santa Rita Hills in 2008, with already many years of experience in the wine business (now over 60 years between them!). After meeting and working with some of the winemakers and winery owners, they realized that there were many wineries that are open by appointment only, or don’t have a tasting room at all, that deserved more active representation. So the Taste of Santa Rita Hills was born as a way to expose these special wines, including hard-to-find Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to a wider audience.
Now with more than 11 years of studying, tasting and researching Santa Rita Hills wines, Antonio and Jeni love to share their knowledge and passion with others. Their inside-track to the hard-to-find producers makes them the go-to experts for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the region.
Antonio Moretti’s passion for wine and food goes back to his early age when one side of his family was involved in the restaurant business. When he moved to the United States from Italy the passion became his career. The 25 years prior to starting Taste of Santa Rita Hills was devoted between managing restaurants and working as a wine specialist in wine distribution.
Jeni Moretti began her wine career in earnest with an impassioned study of Italian wines in 1991. Then in 1993, she decided it was time for hands-on experience and got her full education in wine working for two California wineries where she learned everything about the grape from the ground to the glass. Prior to working at Taste of Santa Rita Hills, she spent 18 years working with Italian wine importers and leading wine and food tours in Italy, which she still does!
"We are the go-to store for unique Santa Rita Hills and Central Coast wines, featuring hard-to-find wines by Sea Smoke, Paul Lato, Bonaccorsi and many others. We offer some of the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the Central Coast."