Stand clear Napa Valley, there is a mighty breeze blowing in from San Luis Obispo County

sign in a Vinyard that points to California mountains in the background

By Gina Trippi


Oceano Wines in San Luis Obispo County is a joint venture between Rachel Martin, who provided the wine knowledge, and Kurt Deutsch, who worked the market. The two decided in 2016 to make wine in Spanish Springs Vineyard, on the central coast in California. As the western-most vineyard site in California, Spanish Springs provides a cool climate perfect for chardonnay and pinot noir.


After Rachel Martin earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tufts University, she decided to make her love of wine a full-time vocation. With a degree in Viticulture and Enology from Napa Valley College, she went on to the prestigious University of Bordeaux School of Enology. Rachel started Oceano Wines from scratch garnering early notice when the esteemed wine writer Jancis Robinson mentioned Martin in “American Wine.”


That same year, winemaker Marbue Marke joined Oceano to help Rachel and Kurt realize their dream to produce unique wines of elegance, balance and freshness. Marbue Marke started down the path to winemaking when he left his home in Sierra Leone. Accepted at the University of California-Davis with an eye toward medical school following in the family tradition, he soon realized that, while it suited his family, medicine was not his calling.


Following his new path, Marke earned an enology degree from UC Davis. His practical experience began at J Winery in Sonoma and was followed by a series of moves each adding another piece of experience to the puzzle that is winemaking. Marke’s journey from medicine to wine was featured in Forbes Magazine!


Oceano Wines, committed to one vineyard site, Spanish Springs, specializes in unique expressions of cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Cited as the closest vineyard to the ocean in California, the cool temperatures and ocean influence yield grapes that make vibrant and refreshing wines that are naturally lower in alcohol. Made in limited production, Oceano Wines are certified sustainable.


We met with Rachel Martin at Metro Wines. A very impressive woman, with an impressive background, she offers impressive wines that truly stand out in a tough market. We have two on the shelf that you should try.


Oceano Chardonnay 2018 is a deep yellow color in the glass. The nose bursts with green melon, lemon curd, guava, sea salt, ocean breeze, white tea and honeysuckle. Crisp yet vibrant, the lovely texture hangs on a medium/full-bodied frame. Zesty and balanced, the palate offers lemon, green apple, melon, tangerine, topped in sea salt, hints of toasted bread, vanilla and ginger. The regarded wine publication, Vinous, awarded this wine 92 Points.


Oceano Pinot Noir 2019 opens with a perfumed nose of fresh strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, red currant, violets, vanilla, and sweet tobacco. Raspberry front loading leads to a layered palate of pomegranate, red currant, blueberry, plum, anise and hints of cocoa. Firm but elegant tannins give way to a long, bing cherry finish. Only 385 cases were made.


And both with 13.5% ALC, both are bottles for dinner.


Metro Wines Asheville

Charlotte Street!  It’s the Next BIG Thing!

“Big Shop Selection.  Small Shop Service”

828-575-9525 | metrowinesasheville.com




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