top of page
  • Writer's pictureTravis J. Vanden Heuvel

Riverbench Winery

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

The journey to discover the vineyards of California is an adventure: history, agriculture, sustainability, premiere grapes, and acres and acres of stunningly beautiful vineyards. And, more. The families that have put their life’s work into this land, ultimately, share the fruits of their labors, providing the finest of grapes and sought after wines.

At Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, with wine tasting rooms located in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, CA, the sense of the commitment and pride is seen in every process. It’s a welcoming place where visitors can appreciate the experience, the timelessness of the land, savoring the presence long past the time of the visit. General Manager Laura Booras, Winemaker Clarissa Nagy, Vineyard Manager Rawley Hermreck and the rest of the team at Riverbench, work together to make Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines. The Riverbench Winery has a rich agricultural tie to the land including a certification with the authoritative sustainability organization, SIP.

History in CA – planted on the Santa Maria Bench

Riverbench vines are planted on the Santa Maria Bench, which is made up of alluvial soils. These soils are formed of sediment deposited by flowing water thousands of years ago, and contain particles of clay, silt, sand and gravel. They are extremely fertile because of their medium to fine textures; yet they are shallow in depth which allows for a great growing medium. The rocky benchland provides excellent drainage and in turn allows definitive growth without a large amount of outside input. Sandstone filled with fossils and remnants of ancient sea life, along with large rocks and river cobble, can be found all over the property, a reminder of the history of this ancient riverbed. The sustainably farmed vineyard sits on the bank of the Sisquoc River.

Sustainability guarantees highest quality grapes

Their goal remains to produce the highest quality grapes, resulting in superb wine quality. Riverbench is committed to sustainable wine growing practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically feasible. Keeping these sustainable practices in mind, they not only produce a superior product, but are able to help protect the environment, conserve natural resources, maintain the long-term viability of the vineyard, and support the economic and social well-being of the employees. As proof of the commitment, Riverbench has been a SIP Certified vineyard since 2008. Tied closely to their vineyard acreage, there are also gardens set aside for their employees.

Thanks for reading and sharing this archived* story!

*This archived feature was originally posted to by publisher Karen Lee; who owns/owned or obtained the applicable rights and/or licenses for publication. If you own the copyrights to this article and wish that it be taken off of our website, please contact  


top ten seal.png

Are you an author?

to submit your book for consideration in RTM's TOP 25 ® program.

bottom of page