Katie Grassini, is the woman in charge, the mastermind behind making some of the best wines in Santa Barbara Wine Country.
A former ski and snowboard instructor at Squaw Valley, turned personal injury attorney, turned wine ring leader of the Grassini Family Vineyards, based in Santa Ynez, CA. and their tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara.
Her legal background helped her turn a wine making family interest into a legitimate family business that is now being tasted around the country.
She is on the go, whether it be Chicago one week, Dallas the next, amongst other cities, hustling and working to get the wines known.
While she is on the go, there is something about being in Santa Barbara that she loves, something that Napa and Sonoma tends to lack.
“What I like about having a family business in Santa Barbara is meeting people from other wineries and vineyards, tourists, chefs, etc. Don’t be surprised to have the owner or the winemaker to open the doors for you when you come to taste and give you a tasting of their wines during the tasting”, she says.
The business model in Santa Barbara is a little different from the widely known wine areas of California like Napa and Sonoma.
The Santa Barbara Wine County (SBWC) winemakers are a smaller, but staunch bunch. That being said, they are more collaborative, willing to share tidbits of knowledge. The feeling of corporate is more existent up north. Having them involved, a lot of it is played closer to the vest. Not that anything is wrong with Napa or Sonoma and not everyone is a corporation. Santa Barbara might be the little brother looking up to its bigger brother in Napa and Sonoma and thinking they should do it different.
“You’re going to meet the faces of the families running these wineries on a day to day basis, and that’s special. It becomes more personal. It’s great when people across the country are tagging you in social media via Instagram or Facebook because you were apart of their special occasion, whether it be engagement, wedding or anniversary. I love that.”