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About the Wine Uncensored episode

Rachel Martin of  Oceano Vineyards joined John Sporing, founder of A Life Well Drunk, for a WineUncensored virtual tasting on March 18, 2021. All of March we celebrated Women’s History Month by featuring female winemakers and vintners.

Did you miss the live tasting? No worries, watch it here:

In our conversation with Rachel, we were guided through three of her wines (including two pre-release wines):

  • Chardonnay 2017 – Domestic Wine of the Year, 92 points Vinous Media
  • Chardonnay 2019 – Pre-release
  • Pinot Noir 2019 – Pre-release

Meet the Maker

We are excited to welcome back Rachel Martin to WineUncensored! Rachel, along with her husband Kurt Deutsch (a multi–Grammy Award winning music, theater, and film producer), Marbue Marke, their wine maker (who left Sierra Leone to come to the US to become a doctor, but became the first person from Sierra Leone to graduate from UC Davis with a degree in enology), and George Donati (the general manager of the vineyard–Spanish Springs Vineyard) have worked together to bring Oceano Wines to life.

Spanish Springs Vineyard is the sole source of fruit for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made by Oceano Wines. Located nearly at the southern end of the sprawling Central Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area), Spanish Springs is perfectly situated to grow chardonnay and pinot noir–the vineyard also produces a few other grapes, both white and red–that epitomize balance and elegance. While the Central Coast-designation is among the largest AVAs in all North America, stretching practically from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, and from the coast to nearly 50 miles inland, Spanish Springs is a rarity within it because it is closer to the Pacific Ocean than any other vineyard in this “coastal” appellation, not to mention the Golden State itself. That is why they are now able to put the San Luis Obispo County designation on labels.

Oceano Wines is a boutique winery, producing about 1,000 cases of premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir each year. “Not all winemakers are created equal, every vineyard is different, and no two grapes or harvests are the same,” explains Rachel. “I don’t believe in formula winemaking. By staying small, we have the ability to adjust our plans to capture delicate aroma and flavor compounds. It takes instinct, technical prowess, and experience.”