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L.A.'s Local Wine Scene Found in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains

An Enomatic case of Malibu-grown wines at Pourtal in Santa Monica with winery owners pouring glasses in the background | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist
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Raise your hand if you had no idea that there over 40 vineyards nearby, mostly found in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. When we talk sustainability and eating locally sourced food, Los Angeles is king, thanks to a plethora of farmers markets, when it comes to urban centers with such offerings. We should start adding local wine to our bragging rights.

"When I planted my vineyard in 2002, there were about 10 vineyards--all very small. Now at the last count, there's about 42, 43, and probably 10 I don't know about," exclaimed Michael Barnes, owner of The Republic of Malibu wines, at Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar in Santa Monica where local Malibu wines are being featured this month.

Carol Hoyt and her husband were one of those 10 wineries back in the early aughts. She and her husband dreamt of opening a vineyard in Napa, but once they realized Malibu was a prime place, they planted a one-acre-plus vineyard on the coast that produces 160 to 200 cases a year for their Hoyt Family Wines label. Back then, however, the city and business community were not as supportive of such efforts. "They did not want vineyards because they didn't want it to be like Napa," she said, noting a change in attitude in recent years. "Now what's happening is that the Chamber of Commerce is loving the tasting rooms."