The wines of the Santa Maria Valley continue to extend their hot streak, with two bottlings from Bien Nacido Vineyard being named to esteemed critic Steve Heimoff’s list of top-scoring wines of 2011 out of 4,800 wines tasted. Talk about beating the odds with remarkable fruit!

Heimoff, the West Coast editor of the Wine Enthusiast, gave the Qupe 2006 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 25th Anniversary X-Block and Foxen 2010 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU the highest scores in their varietal categories in 2011.

Bien Nacido also took center stage in a recent roundup of recommended Central Coast Chardonnays by critic Stephen Tanzer. Of the seven wines recommended, four hailed from Bien Nacido.

This is just the latest example of how the Santa Maria Valley has quietly emerged as one of California’s elite winegrowing regions. Indeed, last year, three Santa Maria Valley-grown wines were named to the top 10 slots of the Wine Enthusiast magazine’s  annual list of “The Enthusiast 100: The Most Coveted Wines of 2010.”

The year before that, the Cambria 2006 Pinot Noir from Julia’s Vineyard ranked first in the Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 list. And two wines from the Santa Maria Valley were named to the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of 2008 out of 19,000 wines tasted from around the world.

You get the drift…

Indeed, the Santa Maria Valley isn’t just producing great wines, it’s producing some of the finest wines in the world, giving you yet another excuse to come out and explore the vineyard-studded backroads of California’s Barbecue Capital.

And, of course, the perfect conclusion to an afternoon of wine tasting can be enjoyed at a number of local restaurants specializing in Santa Maria Style Barbecue. We look forward to sharing our local flavors with you.