Presqu'ile winemaker Dieter Cronje in the barrel room - Credit Deborah Grossman

Presqu’ile Santa Maria Valley Rosé: A Rosé to Celebrate Anytime

On my first trip to Santa Barbara County a decade ago, I met a young winemaker who was memorable for his South African joie de vivre, his good wines, and love of surfing in the nearby Pacific Ocean. Not surprisingly, Dieter Cronje has remained winemaker at Presqu’ile. After studying in South Africa and interning in the U.S. he expected to move on.

But after meeting the multi-generational Murphy family owners of Presqu’ile and pleased with the potential of their wines from sustainably farmed vineyards in the cool climate terroir of Santa Maria Valley, he settled at their new, modern, hilltop winery near renowned Bien Nacido Vineyards.

On a recent zoom call with Cronje who sported a shorter hair style and the same passion for cool climate winemaking, Cronje discussed the expansion of the Presqu’ile portfolio from pinot noir, chardonnay, and syrah to rosé and sauvignon blanc sold in 34 states. The bone-dry rosé has an aromatic, strawberry nose and explodes with fruit flavors without sweetness.

My friend appreciated the well-rounded, lively mouthfeel as we enjoyed it at happy hour with cheese while fantasizing about sipping it at brunch or dinner; Cronje recommends ceviche or watermelon salad with a spicy citrus sauce.


WHO: Presqu’ile Wines  

WHAT: Pinot noir

WHERE: Santa Maria Valley

HOW MUCH:   $32  (media sample)