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2016 Esperance Rose Summer Sangria

One of our favorite wines is back! We hosted a Rose All Day event at our Estate Vineyard in March. The big focus of the day was obviously, our newly released 2016 Esperance Rose. We also offered a Rose Sangria to our guests that was a huge hit. There are many ways to make Sangria, but the key is to start with good wine. For this particular Sangria, we incorporated not only our 2016 Esperance Rose, but also our E11EVEN Sonorous Sparkling wine. The end result- a very empty sangria jug.

Summer Sangria

Serves 18


  • Cut Strawberries into halves
  • Peel and separate tangerines
  • Mix the Rose, tangerines, strawberries, and raspberries into a large container. Gently stir.
  • Steep for a few hours (or overnight)
  • Just prior to serving- add Sparkling Wine and club soda (optional)
  • Give another gentle mix, add ice, & ENJOY!


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Cooking with my daughter…

Cooking with my Daughter…

Baby Back Ribs with my baby


My 11 year old daughter, Estelle, loves to cook! Her absolute favorite dish right now is a relatively easy and tremendously tasty re-interpretation of a recipe for ribs that I found online.  It is very simple to make and to prepare ahead.  My daughter loves it with sparkling apple juice…but, I think it tastes great with our 2009 Syrah Terra Bella Vineyard.  It brings out all of the smooth, spicy, and jammy notes.  We hope that you try our recipe and let us know what you think or how you would improve it.


  • 2 slabs of baby back ribs

Dry Rub Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • few pinches of dried chipotle powder (to taste and only as desired)
  • a bit of any of your other favorite seasonings…hard to go wrong here


Combine all of the dry rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  Rub the ribs in the dry rub and wrap in plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for several hours up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove ribs from the plastic wrap and cover completely and seal tightly with aluminum foil.  Place the wrapped ribs on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Place in the middle rack of your oven.  Cook the ribs for about 2 1/2 hours.

Get your grill going during the last 30-45 minutes in the oven.  Bring your ribs from the oven to the grill and transfer them to the grill.  Be careful because the rib meat will be falling off the bone.  Cook on the grill for about 20 minutes more…turning and basting with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Remove from the grill and serve.


Serve with your favorite sides…  We chose a simple Au Gratin Potato recipe and an arugula salad.


Setting the scene:

In the winter time, always light a big roaring fire.  It adds warmth and a lovely glow to the whole scene.  It is where we invariably end up after dinner to share an another glass of wine and good conversation…  My wife insists on dressing up the house with fresh cut flowers as it softens the “harshness” of winter and brings a wonderful lightness to the environment.


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Rack of Lamb from Chef Budi Kazali

Grilled Australian Rack of Lamb

with Potato Artichoke Hash & Star Anise Demi – Glaze


The Ballard Inn in Santa Ynez Wine Country

If you haven’t been to The Ballard Inn either to stay or dine, you should go. Proprietors Budi and Chris Kazali are two of the loveliest people you’ll meet in the Santa Ynez Valley.   Chef Budi cut his teeth at such renowned restaurants as San Francisco’s La Folie and Boston’s James Beard Award winning Blue Ginger.  His French Asian cuisine is not be missed.  Chef Budi created this exquisite rack of lamb recipe with a suggested pairing of our 2008 Espérance red blend.  Enjoy!


  • 4          10 -12 oz. Rack of Lamb , trimmed of all fat.


Potato Artichoke Hash

  • 2 Cups diced Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 Cup diced sweet potatoes
  • 2 Cups diced artichokes, green outer leaves and centers removed

    Chef Budi Kazali

  • 1 Cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 Bunches of arugula leaves
  • 1 Cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 TBS. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 TBS. finely chopped ginger
  • 3 TBS. canola oil


  • 2  TBS. canola oil
  • 4  Medium shallots chopped
  • 2  Garlic cloves
  • 3  Cups Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah wine
  • 2  Cups of Chicken stock
  • 3  Cups of Beef stock
  • 1  Star Anise


For Sauce:  Sauté shallots and garlic with canola oil over medium heat.  Deglaze the pan with red wine; simmer to reduce by two thirds.  Add beef and chicken stock and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Strain and set aside.


For Hash:  Blanch potatoes and sweet potatoes in salted water until cooked but still firm.  Set aside to cool.  In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté artichokes in canola oil until cooked through stirring frequently about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger and red pepper and sauté 2 minutes to brown garlic.  Add potatoes and salt and pepper to taste, sauté until potatoes are cooked through and begin to brown.  Add arugula last, cooking just long enough to wilt.


For Lamb:  Grill rack of Lamb 6 minutes on bone side and 4 minutes on the meat side on med high heat.  Let rest for two minutes before cutting.

The Ballard Inn's Grilled Australian Rack of Lamb

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Hearty Harvest Fare: Mom’s Lasagna

Once again, wine club member Karen of has graced our website with an enticing recipe.  You’ll find the touching story behind ‘Mom’s Lasagna’ at  This dish makes a perfect meal for a brisk, autumn evening.  After a pre-dawn morning with the picking crews in the vineyard, followed by a long day of crushing, a steaming hot slice of lasagna with a glass of our 2009 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard sounds mighty good.

Mom’s Lasagna


Cottage cheese mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Meat sauce:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine


  • 12 ounces lasagna noodles
  • olive oil
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


In a large dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil and sauté onions until soft. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute, making sure garlic doesn’t burn. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl to cool slightly. Stir in cottage cheese, basil, thyme, parsley, eggs salt and pepper. Mix well. Reserve in refrigerator.

In the same pot, cook ground beef until no pink remains. Drain off all fat. Add canned tomatoes and their juices, oregano, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper. Simmer until most of the tomato juice is gone. Add about half the can of tomato sauce, tomato paste and red wine. Stir well and let simmer for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted water and according to the package until tender. After draining noodles, toss gently with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

When ready to assemble lasagna, spread remaining half can of tomato sauce on bottom of a 13×9 glass pan. Lay 4 noodles across the pan, overlapping slightly to fit, followed by half of the cottage cheese mixture, one third of the meat sauce, and one third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of noodles, remaining cottage cheese mixture, one third meat sauce and one third mozzarella cheese. Lastly, add one more layer of noodles and top with remaining meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.

Place the lasagna dish onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, until top is brown and crusty, and lasagna is cooked completely through. (If top is getting too brown, tent a piece of foil over the pan.) Remove and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting it.

*Notes: I cooked the entire 16 ounce package of noodles to allow for breakage.



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New Short Ribs Recipe and Wine Pairing!

Braised Short Ribs with Ancho Chili Spiced-Syrah Reduction

Wine club member Karen of created this special recipe using our 2008 Syrah Tous les Jours.  As ‘Tous les Jours’ means ‘every day’ in French, you won’t feel guilty using this entry-level priced Syrah for both cooking and enjoying during a weeknight dinner.  Our hats are off to talented Karen for developing this recipe for our collective dining pleasure!


  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless or bone-in beef short ribs
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • canola oil
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 6-8 sprigs of thyme
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 1 bottle Andrew Murray Vineyards Syrah Tous les Jours
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roughly chop carrots, celery, fennel, tomatoes and onion. Cut head of garlic in half, unpeeled. (This will all be strained out later.)

Trim excess fat off the short ribs. Season with salt and pepper, then toss in flour to coat. In a 5-6 quart dutch oven, heat canola oil on high. When oil is very hot, sear short ribs on all sides to brown. Remove from pot and reserve.

Into the same pot, add chopped vegetables, herbs and peppercorns. Pour in a small amount of wine to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom. Add remaining wine. Stir in brown sugar, cocoa powder, ancho chili powder and cinnamon. Place short ribs back into pot, resting on top of vegetable mixture. The short ribs should be almost completely covered with liquid. If necessary, stir in some water until short ribs are almost covered.

Bring liquid to a boil on top of stove, then cover and transfer to oven and cook for 3 hours.

When short ribs are done, remove from pot and cover with foil. Pour the remaining mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan, pushing all the liquid out. Discard solids. Simmer sauce to thicken, then stir in butter.

Serve short ribs with sauce over your favorite mashed potatoes.



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Spicy Tomato-Feta Dip with Grilled Pita Bread

Karen, of, shared this wonderful recipe with us.  A long-time wine club member, she recommends the 2010 RGB White Blend as its pairing companion. If you’re a foodie who loves to cook and enjoy a good story at the same time, you’ll love Karen’s blog/recipe library.  Thank you Karen!


  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil, loosely packed
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups feta cheese

pita bread

olive oil

salt and pepper

Put first 9 ingredients into a food processor and run until completely pureed. Add feta cheese and pulse until the mixture is incorporated and no large chunks remain. Taste mixture for seasonings and adjust as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Brush both sides of pita bread lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle one side with salt and pepper. Grill pita bread over high heat until toasted and slightly crispy. Cut each into 8 pieces. (Pita chips can be used as a substitute.)

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Magically Refreshing Summer Sangria

We hosted a complimentary Wine Club Appreciation Party at our Los Olivos winery in June. The big hit of that afternoon was our Sangria. Many of our wine club members have been asking me how to make Sangria, AMV style. Of course, there are myriad ways to make it, but the key to good Sangria is to start with good wine. I must admit that I found myself feeling a bit like Merlin as I added a little of this and a little of that to create the desired potion. No, I didn’t wear a cape and a pointy hat to the party, but I hope you’ll find this blend ‘magically’ refreshing!

Magically Refreshing Summer Sangria


  • 1 bottle AMV Esperance
  • 1 bottle AMV Sanglier Rose
  • 1 bottle AMV Syrah Kingsley Vineyard
  • Juice from: 3 oranges and 3 limes
  • 2 lemons – thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 limes – thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 oranges – thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar
  • 18 oz ginger ale
  • Sparkling water (we like Pellegrino) to taste


Mix the wine, orange and lime juices, and sugar together in a large container.  Add fruit slices and gently stir to combine.

Steep overnight.

Just prior to serving, add ginger ale and sparkling water to taste, and additional fruit as a garnish.

Add ice and serve!

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Our Recipe Philosophy

We feel fortunate to be able to earn our living doing what we love and running a small family-owned business. The one drawback, however, can be lack of time. This can create a bit of a conundrum; we love good food, but rarely have time to prepare it. That’s where having wonderful friends who are passionate about cooking comes in and where being a winemaker is handy. After a long day of bottling wine in Los Olivos, there’s nothing better than going to a friend’s home for a delicious homemade dinner. They know we appreciate the food, and they also know we’re likely to bring some tasty wine!

Rather than share fancy restaurant-style recipes with you that take hours and hours of preparation, we’ve asked our friends to share some of their favorite, reliable recipes with you. These are real recipes, made by normal people – dishes a non-professional chef can prepare in his or her own kitchen. Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t occasionally pepper them with a menu item from one of our favorite Santa Ynez Valley chefs too…

Oh, and we might suggest an Andrew Murray Vineyards wine to pair with the recipe too.

Let us know what you think – and we’d love to post some of your favorites too.  If you have a special recipe that you’d like to share, email it along with a photo to:

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Frau’s Halibut with Thai Banana Salsa (Serves 4)

Our Swedish friend, whose nickname is Frau (don’t ask), claims to not know how to cook, but we beg to differ.  She and her husband have traveled extensively in Asia, so many of her dishes are Asian-inspired.

Frau’s Halibut with Thai Banana Salsa (Serves 4)

Frau's Halibut with Thai Banana Salsa

For Halibut & Marinade:

  • 2 pounds halibut
  • 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if you have it)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • Splash of olive oil
  • ½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger (many markets carry this in a jar in the produce section – look for Christopher Ranch – fresh is fine, just more work)

    Chopped Ginger

Thai Banana Salsa:

  • 4 firm bananas
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice (fresh is best)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


Mix marinade ingredients together and marinate halibut for a minimum of 12 hours.

Slice bananas (about 1/8 inch thick).   In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients, then pour over bananas and gently combine.

Bake halibut at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (depends on thickness, check for doneness).

Serve over coconut rice, and with our Andrew Murray Vineyards 2010 RGB white wine blend or our 2008 Esperance red wine blend.  Enjoy!

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We have two gorgeous tasting rooms where you can explore our passion for winegrowing in Los Olivos. First up, we have our newly remodeled Winery & Visitor Center, located at the entrance of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, just minutes away from historic downtown Los Olivos, where you can taste our selection of Rhone style wines. Or, you may choose to check out our newly remodeled and rebranded DTLO (DownTown Los Olivos) Tasting Room, where we showcase our new "Playlist" of E11even Wines, crafted exclusively from Estate Grown grapes. Or, choose the All Access Pass and taste at both locations for a discounted price. Whichever you choose, we look forward to seeing you soon.

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