About the Winery
Some dream of spending the rest of their lives on golf courses and cruise ships, but with a taste for business and a love of Santa Barbara wine country, Peter and Rebecca Work chose a different retirement plan. 2004 marked the inaugural Ampelos vineyard harvest. The first harvest yielded 15 tons of Pinot Noir and 6 tons of Syrah. In 2005, Peter and Rebecca planted 10 acres on top of the original 15, totaling 25 acres. Pinot Noir and Syrah remain the primary varietals, with a line of Viognier and just under two acres of Grenache—the unsung hero of the Sta. Rita Hills. Ampelos persists in experimenting with different grapes and winemaking styles, as they are major believers in the journey being the destination. With the efforts of family and friends, wise guides, and a twist of fate, Ampelos has come to create a small sustainable vineyard and winery. They have gone from expanding big businesses to focusing on creating a limited release of high-quality product that people can afford to share with friends and loved ones.
It was the first winery in California to be certified by all three agencies.
The non-certified wines under the Ampelos label are made with a combination of estate grapes and grapes farmed by their neighbors. While these certifications are absent from the labels, the estate only works with suppliers that respect their commitment to chemical-free agriculture. For example, the 2016 Viognier was made with grapes from three different vineyards, as Ampelos only has 235 plants on their ranch. Of those three vineyards, two of the vineyards are now organic and biodynamic certified. The Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a combination of estate grapes and grapes from John Sebastiano Vineyard across the street. At the urging of Peter and Rebecca, owner John Wagner has already initiated converting his vineyard to organic.