This winery and tasting room is hidden deep inside Santa Barbara's industrial zone, and it's open by appointment only.
Sanguis' modern space is architecturally impressive at first sight, but it's the wine that will really win you over by the end of your visit.
The wines at Sanguis are all decanted prior to your visit and served in glasses shaped to best suit each varietal — Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives
Sanguis sources grapes from local vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, Los Alisos Canyon and Santa Maria. Using a combination of strategy, inspiration and luck, the winery turns them into reds and whites that are unlike anything else you are likely to find in this area.
With a focus on Rhone varietals and blends, Sanguis makes small, one-of-a-kind batches that usually do not get repeated in future seasons.
Plan your visit by calling or emailing ahead to schedule a one-hour appointment. Arrive on time, and pull the rope at the entrance to signal your arrival. A wide door will slide open, revealing a welcoming tasting room and, likely, a friendly face.
Step inside and settle in. You'll find a long table flanked by two benches covered in soft blankets and fleeces. Because you have booked in advance, the wines you're tasting will be decanted and waiting for you, resting at just the right temperature.
Before your tasting, depending on the day and circumstance, you may be able to take a tour of the winemaking facilities. This sleek space was previously occupied by an architectural firm, and it shows. Clean lines and a masculine aesthetic dominates.
A precisely temperature-controlled space separated by gigantic rolling doors holds racks of barrels. Outside, drought-hearty plants line the area set aside for sorting, de-stemming and pressing.
Back inside, take a seat and get ready to taste. You will taste the wines they're pouring from light to dark, each new wine poured into a clean glass chosen for its flavor-enhancing shape.
The staff at Sanguis like food almost as much as they like wine, so as they talk you through the characteristics of each wine, you're likely to hear what dishes each will pair with best.
As the tasting concludes, you'll have the opportunity to buy wine to take home with you. You can select from the bottles you tasted and a limited assortment of wines from previous releases. We recommend you seize this opportunity because Sanguis wines are hard to get!
Your other two options include joining their wine club (There's currently a waiting list.) or signing up for their mailing list for the chance to purchase wine on a first-come, first-served basis.
Don't look for Sanguis on Facebook or Twitter because you won't find them. This is one (super secret) place you just have to see in person!