Tara Gomez, the Winemaker and General Manager of Kita Wines in Santa Barbara County, is no stranger to the show. Kita, a small premium winery located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley within the Santa Barbara County AVA, is unusually owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. It’s one of the few Indian-owned wineries that is actually managed by the owning Tribe. Tara is a Chumash Tribe member trained in enology at Cal State Fresno.
In 2010, The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians purchased Camp 4 Vineyard and Tara’s dream of giving back to her tribe became true when she was hired as Winemaker. Tara’s understanding of the site, soils and grapes allow her to shepherd the grapes with minimal input into elegant, balanced wines with lower alcohol content.
The word “Kita” means “Our Valley Oak” in the Santa Ynez Chumash native language of Samala.
At the recent Los Angeles International Wine Competition, Kita Wines were awarded 2 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals, and 2 Bronze medals. Pretty impressive for a tiny boutique winery with an annual case production of 2,500.
You can taste Kita’s Gold Medal wines at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona through September 27th. They are the Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley 2012 and the White Rhone Blend, T’aya, Santa Ynez Valley 2013.
Kita is already harvesting their wine grapes.
They do have a tasting room in Lompoc. It’s a small operation so by appointment only, please.