Tasting the Transverse

If you've ever tasted wine in Santa Barbara County with a winemaker, grape grower, or anyone who knows much at all about the region, it won't be long until they're crediting the unique east-west setting of the Transverse Ranges as the reason why your pinot noir is so pleasing, your chardonnay so satisfying, your syrah so seductive. In that spirit, is launching our first wine-related blog under the title "Tasting the Transverse," and we're hoping you'll come to enjoy our musings about sipping, seeking, and studying the wines of Santa Barbara County and beyond as much as you fancy the fermented grape juice itself.

Starting today, this blog will be your go-to spot to read about what we've been drinking, who we've been hanging out with, where we've been visiting, and who else has been writing about and awarding Santa Barbara County wines. (Indeed, the beginning of this piece is much like a recent article in the Washington Post, which you can read here. But due to the name of this blog, it would have been difficult to come up with another introduction, and we certainly weren't ditching such a stellar title.)

Currently contributing to this blog are senior editor Matt Kettmann, who's been covering wine in Santa Barbara County since he graduated from UCSB more than a decade ago; arts editor Charles Donelan, who's been refining his palate since the 1980s; and wine writing intern Chelsey Steinman, who's only recently been bit with the wine bug but is already neck-deep in the barrell. We are also welcoming anyone else who'd like to contribute with some regularity, and those who are interested can email

So stay tuned for informative, interesting, and hopefully fun posts in the days to come.

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