425 Constitution Ave., unit H
By age 10 most young girls are becoming infatuated with looks, beauty, fashion and ponies. But for 10-year-old Brittany Rice, she knew she wanted to own her own business.
If the name Rice rings a bell, that’s because she’s the daughter of the founders of Sunstone Winery in Santa Barbara and made wine there for a number of years. She also worked as a pastry chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, giving her a strong culinary background. Additionally, large photographic prints, shot while she was in France, hang from the tasting room walls in her Camarillo facility. So she asked herself a simple question. “How can I build a business with food, art and wine?” And Millesime Cellars was born in order to bring her three passions under one roof.
She makes 14 varieties of wine, including merlot, malbec and viognier but really focuses on blends and producing small-lot wines, typically around just a hundred cases of each wine. She sources her grapes from organic vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Given her food background, she offers many winemaker dinners and sensory evaluation classes for food and wine, something she loves to do. One of the more unique wine clubs she offers is the Twelve-Twenty Club where wine club members make 20 cases of their very own private-label wine with Brittany as their guide. Since she’s big on wine education, this is a great opportunity to work with someone who not only does wine but food as well.
The bulk of visitors come from Simi, L.A. and Orange County and happily pay the $14 tasting fee for five of her wines. Open Thursday and Friday by appointment, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., dogs are welcome and feel free to bring some food to nosh as you sit at stools and tables, surrounded by barrels full of wine. Bottle prices range from $28-$80.
Tasting well currently:
2015 Le Jardin: 100 percent viognier with bright acidity, lemon curd, lime zest, honeysuckle and tropical fruits, yet understated; 45 cases
2013 Le Reflexion: a Côte-Rôtie-style syrah and viognier blend replete with rhubarb, boysenberry, Bing cherries and blueberry.
2013 Bleu Saphir: comprising mainly cabernet sauvignon with small amounts of merlot and cabernet franc, this offers soft blackberry, blueberry, cedar, toasted almonds and vanilla.