Posts Tagged ‘los alamos’

Honey Tasting at Bedford Winery in Los Alamos

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Thank you to all who attended the Bedford Winery Bee Happy Honey Tasting as part of the Los Alamos Third Saturday Evening Stroll on February 15th.

We had a great turnout and loved seeing everyone. In addition to over 40 honeys including some from local home hives, we also had special honey butters. A favorite was the orange brandy honey butter that went great with fresh, out of the oven buttermilk biscuits and apricot ginger scones. We also had a variety of meads with the raspberry honey mead as a standout.

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Bedford Tasting Room - Los Alamos, California


Bedford Winery Honey Tasting


Bedford Winery Library Books


Bedford Winery Honey Tasting


Bedford Winery Honey Tasting with Stephan Bedford


Bedford Winery Honey Tasting

Bedford Winery in the Santa Barbara News Press

Friday, July 12th, 2013

SCHAEFER ON WINE: True Grit at Bedford Winery

by Dennis Schaefer     July 11, 2013


It’s been a while since I chatted with winemaker Stephan Bedford at Bedford Winery. On a recent jaunt to wine country, I didn’t make any appointments and just decided to wing it and walk into tasting rooms just like any regular wine country visitor.

As I took my 60-second driving tour of downtown Los Alamos, I spotted a working pickup truck with the Bedford Winery logo, across the street from the tasting room (448 Bell St., Los Alamos, CA 93440, 344-2107, open daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m.).

I had a feeling that winemaker and culinary raconteur, Stephan Bedford, just might be in the house. I was right. He proudly told me about his latest releases as he personally poured them into my glass. Some thoughts on the Bedford wines:

• Bedford Chenin Blanc, Santa Barbara County 2010 ($25): Chenin blanc is such an underappreciated grape (Foxen puts out a great version) that it’s refreshing when the grapes, from the old Firestone vineyard, get into the right winemaking hands.

Bedford’s 2010 was barrel fermented but in older, neutral oak for 24 months, and that seems to add an overall richness to the wine.

Yellow apple with apple pie baking spices come through on the nose, while apple, pear and melon fruit seem very creamy on the palate. Part of that is due just to the nature of the grape but the barrel treatment certainly amplified the effect.

It’s not really a mouth-filling wine, as in big and bold. Rather it’s delicate and elegant while still retaining all the varietal oomph it should. Crisp and well balanced, it does a lovely slow fade of flavors on the finish.

• Bedford Chardonnay, “Dear Prudence,” Santa Barbara County 2009 ($35): Now this chardonnay is bigger and has a littler more edge to it than the chenin blanc. It’s essentially a barrel selection of three of the best chardonnay barrels, aged for 20 months, 30 percent in brand new French oak.

Apple, pear and a little peach are apparent on the nose.

In the mouth, the immediate sensation is rich and viscous. Apple and pear fruit flavors make an appearance again along with barrel spice; it turns creamy on the mid-palate with, by turns, fresh toast and brioche dough integrated into the fabric of the wine, making it that much richer and quite a bit more complex.

Medium bodied, it finishes vigorously with fine and appropriate trailing acidity. This bottling is dedicated to Mr. Bedford’s dear, departed mom.

• Bedford Carignane, Santa Barbara County 2009 ($30): Again, much like chenin blanc above, you don’t see much varietally labeled carignane; most of it is buried in Rhone-style blends. But, once again, in the right hands and treated with the respect it deserves, carignane can really sing.

The grapes came from a vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley, where they were harvested in the cool of the night, then pre-fermentation cold soaked for 72 hours and allowed to macerate and ferment for 30 days.

The result is plenty of red fruit on the nose, including strawberry, cranberry and cherry. The light color of the wine is a precursor to the lighter and more delicate flavors to come. Strawberry, cranberry, pomegranate and cherry jello are prominent and even a little blueberry sneaks in the back door.

It acts like a fairly simple quaff at first but it really pops in the mouth with bright and sunny flavors. Even after 30 months in Minnesota (!) oak, it’s still very fresh and upbeat with some nice, polished wood spice on the long finish.

• Bedford Syrah, Comet (17P) Holmes, Santa Barbara County 2007 ($30): This special syrah release commemorates the visit of Comet Holmes during the 2007 harvest.

The comet was temporarily the largest object in the night sky during the harvest and clearly visible to the naked eye. Quite an unexpected phenomena, according to Mr. Bedford.

So, too, this syrah was surprising and unexpected. He blended a number of different barrels from different vineyards to come up with something he felt was special.

On the nose, plenty of dark plum, black fruit, cigar box and a delightful unexpected floral component that lifts the fruit aromatics up. That bit of floral hits the palate even before the red raspberry, cranberry and red plum fruit come into focus, also aided by clove and bit of toast.

Then the fruit flavors really take over deep into the mid-palate with the aforementioned red fruits all the way to the dark fruits of plum and blackberry. A sensual syrah tour de force, to say the least.

• Bedford Grenache, Special Select, Santa Barbara County 2010 ($35): The first red Bedford release from the 2010 vintage, this grenache is comprised of three select barrels that showed the best promise.

After two years aging in neutral oak, it’s showing plenty of red fruit from the git-go on the intriguing nose.

Flavors follow the same path, with cranberry, strawberry and pomegranate (you can almost chew on the seeds!) very prominent. It’s the youngest and most highly structured wine in the Bedford lineup and is quite thick, like jam or preserves, in the mouth.

It comes across as a little brash but it opens up as it sits in the glass with a spicy and tangy lilt, in addition to the fruit becoming more generous.

Decanting is recommended at this point to bring out all the elements built into the wine, or just throw it into your cellar for two or three years and revisit something a bit more glorious.

Wine expert Dennis Schaefer’s column appears every other week in the Food section. Email him at


July 30th Chair Faire Afternoon Wine Soiree at Bedford Courtyard

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

chairfaire_competition_entryThe second annual Chair Faire, put on by Los Alamos, is a day long, sidewalk, chair exhibit lining Bell Street where everyone from owners to collectors can showcase their beautiful, unusual, unique chairs. There will also be a chair competition, so those that need to release some creative energy are invited to contribute. For more information call Connie at The C Gallery at 805-344-3807.

What are we doing? After perusing the chair display, join us for a relaxing Afternoon Wine Soiree from 12-3(ish) pm with live music and artisan flat breads from our wood fired oven along with roasted, buttery corn, and other summer treats. A $10 fee includes wine tasting and appetizers (free for wine club members). Come taste our new releases! RSVP to 805-344-2107 or email us at

SAVE THE DATE: “The Artful Tomato” Sept. 4th

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

It’s tomato mania in Los Alamos! Join us Saturday afternoon over Labor Day Weekend to embrace the world of tomatoes – not just any tomatoes, but heirloom varieties home grown by Stephan Bedford and other local gardens. He is busy battling gophers to make sure there will be a wide variety to not only do a tomato tasting with but to enjoy in a wide assortment of dishes. We will also have the wood fired oven going for pizzas! $20 per person, $15 for wine club members. Includes wine tasting.

2001 Cabernet Franc, Santa Barbara County

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Bedford 2001 Cab Franc yellow webIn 2001 we changed winemaking protocol for our reds to further increase the intensity of flavors. Frequent punch downs were employed as well as a method called “rack-and-return” or delestage. This process deconstructs the fruit to eventually construct a wine that magnifies the aromatics, flavors and texture. The fruit for this vintage is once again from the Thompson Vineyard in Los Alamos and the wine is 100 percent varietal as with all other past vintages. The 2001 vintage offers the same immense fruit reminiscent of ripe blackberries, blueberries and spice supported by a toasty vanilla component like the 2000 vintage. While the 2000 has a more dusty, earthy character reminiscent of older French wines, the 2001 offers more depth and weight. SOLD OUT!

2001 Syrah, Santa Barbara County

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Bedford 01 Syrah yellow webThis is our signature wine. We are most fortunate to have great Syrah to deal with from the first harvest in 1994 from the Thompson Vineyard in Los Alamos. The south facing hillside location along with low tonnage produced grapes of excellent concentration, robust, dark crimson color, and equally rich flavors. We use our usual protocol for reds: cold soaked the fruit for 24 hours prior to an open top fermentation for 28 days, and employed “delestage”, a process that aerates the red grape juice must, which in turn, optimizes the aromatics, flavor and texture. The Syrah is put to barrel to age for about 20 months. The wine is intense with a generous fruit character suggesting blackberry, mulberry, and Oriental spices. Its rich, lush quality, smoky, berry bouquet is joined on the palate by a touch of toasty oak. This big, juicy wine is well matched with red meats and any hearty cuisine.  Bottle Price: $30.00  ALMOST SOLD OUT!

Tasting Room Open Daily 11 am to 5 pm ~ 448 Bell Street, Los Alamos, CA 93440 ~ PH: 805-344-2107 ~ E-mail:

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