TODAY   |  February 21, 2013

Is Santa Ynez the new Napa Valley?

The Santa Ynez Valley is turning into the state’s newest hotspot for fine wines.  TODAY’s Sara Haines goes for a tasting to see how these grapes measure up.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> might be?

>> wine.

>> when you think of wine country in california, you usually think of napa valley , but on the central coast of california just a couple of hours north of los angeles the santa ine sfwl valley is becoming the hottest spot for wines.

>> i love it.

>> i know. me too.

>> somewhere between los angeles and san francisco amid the rolling hills two-lane roads and dude ranches , vineyards are sprouting up all over the country side .

>> we are right now in happy canyon. i'm here with jim and mary who own deerberg vineyard and star lane vineyard. did you name this happy canyon yourself? how did you end up here?

>> it was happy before we got here. it's been happy a long time.

>> the deerbergs spent 20 years looking for the perfect place to turn these grapes into wine. their search brought them here to the heart of the santa inez valley.

>> this is pruning?

>> yeah. this time of year we're setting up the vines. red, red wine

>> i think i did a pretty good job on this one. how many more do i have to do?

>> okay. so we have 200 acres, and there's about 1,000 vines per acre, so you have 199,999 vines left to go.

>> i'm going to need to reapply the spf.

>> during the fall, workers harvest hundreds of tons of grapes in less than three months.

>> affect grapes are harvested, they're brought back to this three-story gravity flow wine-making felt.

>> we're on the second floor of the whinin winery. and our facility works with gravity. it literally falls down to the first floor, or into the cave, into barrels, where the wine will age.

>> we have to get them from the fermenter down to the wood barrel.

>> can i do it?

>> go ahead and open up. oh.

>> so you're ready to shut the valve.

>> shut the val.

>> oh, that was not bad.

>> the barrels are stored underneath the winery in a 25,000 square foot network of caves where the wine is stirred, not shaken.

>> this is official name --

>> it floats in the hole.

>> that's why they call it wines day.

>> every morning while kathie lee and hoda are getting their drink ownering the wine maker is doing his own private tasting.

>> usually by 5:00 a.m ., i have validated anywhere between half a dozen to three dozen wines.

>> three sheets to the wind.

>> all of it spitten. it's just --

>> you spit. we don't do that. we don't waste wine like that. we're actually -- we consume.

>> now you can taste it.

>> fruity. someone told me that i might be able to tap one of these things and fill my own bottle.

>> yeah. you have to do that kind of secretly.

>> can you show me?

>> let's do it.

>> is it going to pour out fast?

>> yes.

>> it is?

>> uh-huh.

>> so thank you very much for allowing us to visit your winery. what better way than to toast with a bottle of wine? i brought you one that i stole earlier today.

>> well, you certainly are welcome to it. it says, i stole this wine.

>> i so didn't steal this wine.

>> when you return it to the owner, it's not stolen. cheers to that.

>> cheers. i'm beginning to see the light

>> that was great.

>> next up we're going to make great balls. won't stop until the sun comes up