IMAGINE WINEIMAGINE - not just another tasting room. Nestled in the small township of Santa Ynez, the Imagine Wine Tasting Room & Art Gallery is an elegant reflection of the extraordinary small lot wines created by winemaker Ross Jay Rankin. The journey began in the year 2000 with a group of friends dedicated to the simple notion that a very small, truly boutique winery, where handcrafted, unique, and surprising wines are lovingly created, is possible in a wine world dedicated to wines that often disappoint.
Award-winning Paradise Mountain Viognier and Syrah are two of the Imagine Signature Wines. The vineyard is tucked back into the mountains above Lake Cachuma and is unusual in that it has rocky soil, lots of rainfall (75 inches in 2004), and receives a greater number of annual hours of sun than the valley below.
Paradise Mountain Syrah vines must stress because of the rocky soil, producing 2-4 tons of grapes per acre. It is a small grape with a large skin to pulp ratio. Over the years, Ross has learned to ferment the wine slowly over a 30-day period, allowing the wine to fully absorb the extraordinary flavors and aromas of the skins. Each bottle is aged at least 2 years in the barrel and 3 years in the bottle before it is released. “Yummy” is often the word heard resoundingly in the tasting room when this remarkable wine is served.
Depending on the whim of Lyndee or Ross Rankin, on any given day you will find the tasting to include a mix of Imagine Wines that may include award winning “Pearl” Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Pinot Noir (only made every 2-3 years), Merlot, and several Syrahs.
Local artists display original fine art for sale in the beautiful Art Gallery which is the Imagine Tasting Room. The fine stone sculpture of Blake Rankin, contemporary art and figurative painting by Karina Puente, California landscapes by Robert Karl Vogel and watercolors by Barbara Goldstein, as well as others adorn the beautiful wood-floored and metal-ceilinged space.
But most importantly your experience will be greatly enhanced by the knowledge, conversation, and wit of Ross and Lyndee Rankin who will be your only servers. They develop friends and clients, not just provide an “arm” to pour the wine. Most often the most difficult choice they hear from their guests is “which” of the wines to purchase “because I liked them all.”
Imagine - not just another tasting room, but a unique and rewarding wine tasting experience.