The name alone tweaks one’s curiosity, but the laid back factor is a big sell too for this little industrial-park-turned-wine-hotspot in Lompoc, California, an easy drive from the seaside city of Santa Barbara. It’s called the Wine Ghetto, and there are no green hills or landscaped lawns here. This place looks like a storage center. But the wine inside those nondescript buildings is top-rate: 16 tasting rooms sell 20 brands of wine such as:
The warehouse neighborhood is about two city blocks in size and some production facilities double as tasting rooms. The wines are sourced from various places, including the prestigious Santa Rita Hills region, known for excellent pinot noir. And don’t assume the word ghetto means the wines will be bargain basement. There are just as many $60 a bottle offerings as there are $18 ones.
The Lompoc Wine Ghetto is about 45 minutes from Santa Barbara and two hours from Los Angeles. It’s surrounded by many traditional estate wineries in the Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos.