The Peaceful Table
I remember years ago when I first saw Zaca Mesa on a shelf at the store. For some reason, it just did not sound “wine” enough to me and I passed on buying it. Isn’t wine supposed to have some sort of French name with a few silent letters or an Italian name ending in an “o”, “i”, or “ia”? Zaca Mesa was from the Central Coast. Where in the heck was that?
Our son went to the University of California at Santa Barbara- he grew up on the beach in Hermosa Beach and went to college on the beach in Santa Barbara. Life can be tough. When we would travel to visit him, we would also spend some time wine tasting in Santa Barbara County. We hit the 246 corridor- as far east as Gainey and as far west as the Lompoc Ghetto. We hit Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos, and the Santa Rita Hills. But we never ventured up into the Foxen Canyon- it seemed so far and there were so many places to visit before we got there.
Fortunately, a wine buyer at one of our local Hermosa Beach establishments knew what my wife and I liked and sent her home with some Zaca Mesa Z Cuvee and Estate Syrah. We tried the Z Cuvee. It was really good and then tried the Syrah- it was really good, too. We detected a pattern. I returned to the store and not only bought the rest of the Z Cuvee and Estate Syrah that was on the shelf, I also decided to go for the Mesa Reserve and the Black Bear Block. Neither of those disappointed, either. In fact, the elation factor went up exponentially with the Mesa Reserve and the Black Bear.
Even with this absolutely wonderful first-hand testimonial of tasting the goods, we still didn’t make the trip into the Foxen Canyon. My first time to Zaca Mesa was the first day I came to work here- November 1, 2012. And as anyone who has actually taken the time to drive back into this beautiful canyon for the first time can tell you, this is beautiful country- what the heck took us so long to discover it?
I thought, why was I so hesitant to buy the Zaca Mesa wine in the first place? Then why did it take me so long to visit? Scroll back up to the top of this article- it just didn’t “sound” right or come from “the right place”- but that was because I did not know the real meaning behind the name, Zaca Mesa. Zaca is the Chumash Indian word for “Peaceful” and back in 1838, the Rancho La Zaca land grant was established. So it is the word historically associated with the land and appropriately named by the Chumash. Mesa is the Spanish word for table, or in geology it is an isolated, flat-topped hill. The Zaca Mesa vineyards are on two mesas.
Come visit and breathe the purity of the air, see the beauty of the land, listen to the sounds of mother nature, and taste the goods produced here. It’s out of the way, but that is what makes it so worth the trip. Once you visit and expose your senses and soul to this incredible country, you will come back to Zaca Mesa, the Peaceful Table.