As we follow the path of life, our journeys enrich us through the people we meet, the places we visit, and even the wine we taste. Recently visiting with Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo Tena and learning about their Camins 2 Dreams winery, you know their love of wine, and each other has led them on a course that has taken them from California to Spain and back. Both women, in their own way, opened a corridor or passageway that represents the diversity in the wine industry. Tara as a Native American Winemaker. Both Tara and Mireia as two women winemakers and as LBGT. All these aspects steer them in a challenging yet fulfilling direction.
The two met while both working at J. Lohr in 2006. They were married in 2014. Their winery began in 2017 and their tasting room opened in 2019 but it is the evolution of their wine that sets Tara and Mireia apart from other wineries.
I met Tara when she first started working with Kita Wines, where she remains winemaker. Tara is a Native American and a member of the Chumash tribe. Tara began her career as an enologist for Fess Parker Winery. She moved on to J. Lohr, and while there started her own label called Kalawashaq Wine Cellars. When she left J. Lohr, Tara went to Spain and worked for Castel d’Encus, where she learned many old-world techniques that she utilizes today. When the Chumash purchased the Camp 4 Vineyards from Fess Parker, Tara was hired to be their winemaker. Along this career path, Tara met Mireia while working at J. Lohr.
Mireia Taribo Tena
Mireia is of Spanish descent. She was raised in Catalunya and graduated with a degree in both Chemistry and Enology. She came to California to intern at J. Lohr before returning to Spain to accept a job at Castell d’Encus, where she soon became their winemaker. During this time, she got her master’s degree in Enology, Viticulture, and marketing in wine. In 2014 she moved to California to be with Tara.
Both Tara and Mireia have traveled the world exploring life to its fullest, but when it comes to creating wine, they are minimalists and love the inherent typicity of the terroir where they live in the Sta. Rita Hills. Their grapes come only from this area, but they steered away from making the popular varieties of the region, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and chose Grüner Veltliner and Syrah to set foot on their wine journey. In the Camins 2 Dreams winery, which opened 2017 using little intervention, all wines ferment on natural yeast. All wines are unfiltered and unfined. Most of the grapes are foot stomped because it is softer and gentler on the grapes.
Camins 2 Dreams Label
The symbolize of the label accentuates Tara and Mireira’s life, and their love of wine and each other. The details draw you in to discover its meaning. The grapevine on the label is depicted in a circular fashion. It is round to symbolize the world, The roots of the tree signify grounded. We as people are grounded just like the grapevine is grounded by the roots the go deep into the earth to find water in our to give each vine life. As you look at this vine, you find balance by the yin and the yang quality of the label’s artwork
Camins 2 Dreams Grüner Veltliner
The Grüner comes from Spear Vineyard, located on Highway 246. The grapes are foot stomped. Fermentation takes place in neutral French Oak, with 25% of the wine fermenting in stainless steel. The 2019 vintage has soft aromas. It is a clean wine with some viscosity and loads of minerality. I found aromas of lemon and on the palate flavors of green apples with lemon zest on the finish.
Experimenting with Grüner Veltliner Tara and Mireia created a Pét-Nat a name for pétillant-naturel, a slightly sparkling natural wine. They utilize the ancestral method, where they stop fermentation before its completion. Later a secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle.
Camins 2 Dreams Rosé of Syrah
This 2019 Rosé is created in the Saignée method and utilizes Syrah grapes from both the Spear and Zotovich Vineyards. I found a fuller-bodied Rosé with a Mediterranean quality to it. Flavors of watermelon and tomatoes were evident. Although a crisp, refreshing wine, the fuller body makes the wine atypical of most Rosés.
Camins 2 Dreams Syrah
At our tasting, we sampled several Syrahs. The first the 2018 Spear. The wine fermented with 20% whole cluster grapes followed by aging nine months in neutral French barrels. This Syrah was more aromatic and red in color than the others we samples. The wine exhibited flavors of tomatoes and some olives and hints of black pepper on the finish.
We sampled side by side the 2017 and the 2018 Zotovich Syrahs. In both vintages, the Syrah consists of two clones, which separately fermented and aged until bottled. These Syrahs were dark purple in color.
Finally, we barrel sampled the John Sebastiano Vineyards Syrah. This wine is a winner. I was impressed by how drinkable and ready to be bottled. Stay tuned for the release of this Syrah. The John Sebastiano Vineyard is a new vineyard for the Camins portfolio and one they will continue to use.
What does the future hold for Tara and Mireia? Wine wise they will be producing a cool climate Grenache and a Graciano. The best description of the Camins 2 Dreams wines is they have life. If you want to follow Tara and Mireia’s wine journey, it is easy to pave your way to their tasting room and enjoy a visit.
Tasting Room Hours:
Friday: 2-5 pm
Saturday: 12-6 pm
Other days by appointment
Photo credit for the featured image in this article goes to Craft and Cluster.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer enjoyed a hosted wine tasting luncheon. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.