Graham Tatomer got an early start, working for Santa Barbara Winery when he was only sixteen. By the time he went to work the harvest in Austria, he had already begun his own label, Katabasis, which he sold after three years. That first harvest in the Wachau led to a full year and two subsequent seasons, and he immersed himself in the Austrian wine world. He started the Tatomer label in 2008, with the goal of producing dry Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. He is the owner and sole employee of Tatomer, which he runs at Central Coast Wine Services, a 250,000 square foot facility that rents space to small winemakers in Santa Maria.
Graham Tatomer sources from a number of different vineyards around Santa Barbara. The main vineyards are John Sebastiano, Kick-on Ranch, and Duvarita. While he does not worry too much about certifications, Tatomer asserts that “everything is 99.9% organic, at least.”
Tatomer’s wines are gorgeous and intense. Grapes are hand sorted in the field, a common practice in Austria that eliminates rot in thin-skinned grapes. The Meeresboden Grüner Veltliner 2017 (Everyday wine), grown on sand dunes, offers up wet stones and a nice salinity. The Vandenberg Riesling 2016 is bright, floral, and full of nuance. A riper expression is the Kick-on Ranch Riesling 2016, rich with notes of candied orange rind and nectarines. The only red wine, the Duvarita Pinot Noir 2015, sits on the lees in neutral barrels for eleven months, creating a brambly and herbaceous wine that is honest and authentic.
PLANT PROTECTION copper and sulfur
WEED CONTROL mechanical, mowing
YEASTS commercial cultured yeasts
GRAPES purchase 100%