“Chateau Picard” from Star Trek: Picard Calls Santa Barbara Wine Country Home

“Chateau Picard” from Star Trek: Picard Calls Santa Barbara Wine Country Home

Alberta, Stockholm, London: all major cities with Star Trek connections. The latest connection is the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California’s Santa Barbara Wine Country

You might be asking:

  • Isn’t “Chateau Picard” in France? 
  • Which are the French vineyard locations in the Star Trek series?
  • What does the Santa Ynez Valley have to do with Star Trek

“Chateau Picard” - A Moveable Vineyard

  1. Jean-Luc Picard’s family winery first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 1987-1994. During that series, the Picard family “made wine” in the La Barre commune in the Franche-Comte region of France, close to the border with Switzerland. 

    The episode Family showed Capital Picard and his brother discussing the family’s wine, “Chateau Picard.” They drank red wine from a 21st-century bottle, apparently sticking with traditional packaging. Some things never change!
  2. There is an actual wine called Chateau Picard which belongs to a French wine négociant located in Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux. The owners of this château, négociant Mähler-Besse, have a long wine-producing history, much longer than the Star Trek universe.
  3. With the debut of the new series, Star Trek: Picard, we see retired Admiral Picard enjoying his vineyard and his dog. But the vineyard no longer resides in the Franche-Comte region. 

Burgundy is now its home. Perhaps the studio wanted to give the winery a more prestigious address. The same bottle and label appear in the new episode as before, reinforcing the traditional nature of the Picard family wines.

Though on-screen the references are to Burgundy, the location of the actual vineyard is not in France. The initial filming took place in April 2019 at Sunstone Vineyards & Winery. Sunstone is located just south of the city of Santa Ynez in the heart of the Santa Barbara Wine Country.

Santa Ynez, now part of Trekkie lore, hopes to capitalize on the massive popularity of the series as other cities have.

Star Trek: Picard & Sunstone Winery

The new series, featuring Patrick’s Stewart’s Admiral Picard, was filmed at Sunstone Vineyards because of its proximity to Hollywood. The location allowed the studio to realize significant cost and time savings versus filming in France. 

The other advantage to Sunstone is the owners constructed the winery with materials shipped in from southern France. Therefore, the winery represents with some authenticity a “French-style” winery on screen. 

The camera team shot many vineyard scenes at Sunstone with drones, though some of the actors participated in on-location shots. 

While wine-tasting wasn’t part of the actors’ duties, Trekkies and other visitors can take advantage of their visits to sip some of the faux-Burgundy wines.

*Note: Star Trek: Picard airs on the CBS All Access channel. 

The Wines of “Chateau Picard”

  1. The red grape of the Franche-Comte region is Trousseau. The wines made from this grape are full-bodied, aromatic, and long-lived. Trousseau is an excellent choice for Picard’s multi-generational family (estimated to be five generations.) The family made wine under two labels, “Chateau Picard” and “Château La Barre.”
  2. The real Château Picard Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux is made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and15% Merlot. This is a wine to lay down for some years drinking. Wines from Bordeaux exhibit a richness that deepens over time, a different style again from either Trousseau or Pinot Noir.
  3. The signature grape of Burgundy is Pinot Noir. It can be long-lived and gives a lighter-bodied, elegant and perfumed wine. Burgundy is a very different style of wine from Trousseau. Perhaps Jean-Luc’s tastes, or budget, changed over the years.

Pinot Noir is a popular grape in the Santa Barbara County, so the wines of Burgundy and Santa Barbara have something in common, at least.

In addition to the original Château Picard, Mähler-Besse produces, in partnership with CBS, a separate Star Trek: Picard Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux for fans of the show using the same blend of grapes.

Along with the above wine, fans can enjoy a Sonoma County, California, Zinfandel-based red blend called Special Reserve United Federation of Planets Old Vine Zinfandel.

So far with the new series, we have different wines from different wine regions associated with the same movable vineyard, the same family, and the same name (excluding the Zinfandel.)

On another note, considering the state of climate change in 2020, it is doubtful that Pinot Noir would still thrive in Burgundy in 2399. Consulting a few wine experts when writing the scripts might have been a good idea!

Martellotto Winery is located eight miles from Sunstone Winery in Buellton

Martellotto Winery Welcomes Star Trek: Picard at Sunstone

Located a scant 8 miles from Sunstone, Martellotto Winery welcomes Hollywood to Santa Barbara Wine Country

When asked about this Star Trek connection, owner, Greg Martellotto said:

“I think it's fantastic that the Los Angeles entertainment industry is helping our young wine region gain exposure by filming more projects in beautiful Santa Barbara wine country.”

Hoping to “live long and prosper,” Greg is sure that other wineries will join him in welcoming the film industry and its fans to the area. 

He continued:

“This is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world, and we love sharing our bounty with visitors. We hope fans of Star Trek will visit “Chateau Picard” and other neighboring wineries."

There are perhaps no more passionate and dedicated fans than Trekkies. The entire Santa Ynez wine region should benefit from increased exposure of all these fans.

Santa Barbara Wine Country

Santa Barbara Wine Country is a premier wine destination that promotes sharing wine, food, and good company in a beautiful setting. This is wine country lifestyle at its best. 

Visiting some of the many wineries in the area should be on any Trekkies’ agenda. In the wine triangle of Buellton, Los Olivos, and Santa Ynez, visitors can spend an entire day without driving more than 30 miles

Wines include single varietal, single vineyard, and blends, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir the most planted. However, visitors can enjoy other wines such as Bordeaux-style blends from the newest and hottest AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara.

With a comfortable climate of warm days and cool nights, guests can linger outside at a winery or on the patio at a restaurant while savoring lovely wines. 

With great restaurants, comfy accommodations, easy driving and parking, beautiful vistas, and delicious wine, Santa Barbara Wine Country delivers the perfect vacation. 

Though only a short drive from Los Angeles, this wine region is a world away from the hustle of the big city. Anyone, including Trekkies, will be seduced by the laid-back wine lifestyle of Santa Barbara Wine Country.

Greg Martellotto encourages Trekkies making the pilgrimage to Sunstone to branch out and visit other wineries. Costumes welcome!

martellotto winery encourages Trekkies making the pilgrimage to sunstone winery to visit the surrounding wineries

About Martellotto Winery

Martellotto Winery is located in Buellton. As a neighboring winery to Sunstone, Trekkies are welcome to stop by for a taste of these award-winning Bordeaux-style wines. 

A boutique winery dedicated to producing world-class wines, it stands in homage to Greg’s Italian grandfather (Nonno.) He made wine in his basement during prohibition in the U.S.

Set deep in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, Martellotto Winery creates handcrafted, beautiful, and exciting wines using selected grapes from across California’s Central Coast. 

Grapes come from Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Maria Valley. 

Martellotto specializes in Bordeaux varietals, and is one of the few wineries producing single varietal wines of all five of the noble Bordeaux grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.

Small Business Owner Calls Out Unintended Consequences of Trump’s Tariff Wars

Small Business Owner Calls Out Unintended Consequences of Trump’s Tariff Wars

San Diego businessman and wine entrepreneur, Greg Martellotto, recently spoke out against the tariff wars, including the proposed 100% on European wine currently under review by the Trump administration. 

Greg is concerned about the unintended consequences that are not discussed and tend to be invisible. The proposal will have dire consequences for both European and U.S. wine industries, hitting American small businesses and consumers especially hard.

“They’re trying to punish the French and Chinese for something that clearly has nothing to do with wine. And who’s paying the bill? Me!  American small businesses. No one’s talking about it, no one that I’m aware of,” says Greg. “These things don’t seem to be well thought out. It doesn’t make sense.”

tariff war actions and escalations

Recent Tariff War Actions and Escalations

  • 5/10/2019: U.S. increased tariff rates on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%, an escalation of ongoing trade tensions with China.
  • 6/1/2019: China increased tariffs on American wine from 48% to 93%. 
  • 7/11/2019: French-imposed levy of 3% on gross revenues for digital services of U.S. tech giants. 
  • 9/1/2019: China increased tariffs by 5-10% on one-third of American imports. U.S. retaliated with an additional 15% tariff on $112 billion of Chinese imports.
  • 10/19/2019: U.S. levied 25% tariff on wines from France, Spain, Germany, and the U.K.. Did not include sparkling wines, wines over 14 percent alcohol, or large-format bottles. Was a reaction to the Airbus subsidy dispute.
  • 12/2/2019: U.S. threatened tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4B of French goods, including Champagne, as a reaction to the French digital services tax.
  • 12/11/2019: U.S. announced expansion of the proposed 100% tariffs to include ALL E.U. wines. Action related to the Airbus dispute and to keep pressure on the digital services dispute.
  • 1/13/2020: Cutoff date in the U.S. for public comments on the proposed 100% tariffs.

Tariff War Impact and Unintended Consequences

Tariffs are intended to punish Europe and China for trade practices, but have nothing to do with wine. Depending on how long these taxes are in place, below are some of the unintended consequences for the wine industry:

wine tariffs

U.S. - France/E.U.:

  • As of October 18, 2019, many European wines became 25% more expensive in the U.S. Suppliers, importers, and customers bear the costs. The result was lower margins for producers and importers and somewhat higher prices for consumers.
  • If tariffs rise to 100%, prices will double for everyone in the supply chain, putting European wines out of reach for most U.S. consumers. Some importers and retailers, mostly small businesses, will suffer from lower sales, and some may go out of business. 
  • Most consumers and businesses will be priced out of the world’s most famous wine regions. They won’t be able to afford to drink or serve what they desire.
  • Many restaurants across the U.S. may have to change their wine lists. Those focused on European cuisine (Italian, French, Spanish, etc.) will have to serve wines from other countries.
  • Domestic wine production cannot completely replace the loss of European wines, so substituting California for European wines is, at best, only a partial solution. 
  • California and European wines have very different profiles, so again, replacements are limited. Wines from other countries may partially replace those at lower price levels.
  • European suppliers and exporters might lose their largest market, potentially devastating the industry there. Shifting to other markets will take time, but the U.S. is a significant market that has long-standing and deep relationships with Europe.

us china trade war

U.S. - China:

  • China has recently been the fastest-growing market for California wines. As a result of 93% tariffs, Chinese demand for California wine fell dramatically in 2019. 
  • California may lose a vital customer whom the trade spent 20 years building a relationship. 
  • Most California wineries use wine bottles made in China. These bottles are now subject to an 18-21% tariff, raising production costs. Chinese suppliers pass on 100% of all tariffs to their customers.
  • Wineries may have to find alternative suppliers, if the timing of bottling allows. Chinese glass producers will lose customers.
  • Domestic glass is not a ready alternative due to higher local costs and limited supply. 
  • Such price increases impact smaller wineries significantly. They may not have the financial resources to survive.

trade war affects american small businesses

American Small Business: Not the Target, but the Side Effect

Current tariffs relate to U.S. global corporations such as Boeing, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. These are companies with bottomless pockets. No matter the eventual outcome, they will survive.

No one in the wine trade is exempt from some impact:

Both large and small businesses will suffer some level of negative impact from tariffs. However, the unintended consequences for small companies, including those in the wine trade, may ultimately be unsustainable. Even if the tariffs are short-lived, the consequences might not be.

The U.S. wine industry is a vast, national economic engine employing thousands that could lose billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. The wine business in the U.S. will likely contract. 

As tariffs continue, Europe will look for new markets and U.S. consumers will be forced to change habits. The U.S. wine industry will suffer permanent damage, changing the very nature of the wine business globally.

Instead of a growing and robust wine trade between the U.S. and China, China will shift supply to other countries with more favorable trading terms. Chile, New Zealand, and Australia are gaining market share in China at California’s expense.

Back to our small-business owner, Greg asks, “Why am I paying more to import wine because Airbus is getting subsidies? Why should U.S. consumers pay more for European wine and other products?” 

If politicians don’t consider the impact of tariffs on small companies, many will go out of business, taking jobs and economic prosperity with them.

NOTE: On Monday, January 20, 2020, an apparent agreement occurred between Donald Trump and Emanuel Macon to temporarily freeze mutually proposed tariffs related to the digital tax dispute. However, no details were released and the impact for the wine industry is unknown. There was no word about tariffs related to the ongoing Airbus dispute.

Top Santa Barbara County Wines from Martellotto Winery Now Available in Texas

Top Santa Barbara County Wines from Martellotto Winery Now Available in Texas

Available in Texas for the first time, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara County AVA Martellotto Winery announces exclusive deal with Goody Goody Liquors Inc.

Martellotto Winery is a producer of high-quality fine wines located in Buellton, CA. This Santa Barbara County winery focuses on Bordeaux-style wines. The grapes are grown in the newest and smallest AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara County. Martellotto also crafts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the signature grapes of the region from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

“We have long wanted to share our wines in the dynamic Texas wine market,” says owner Greg Martellotto. “We applaud Goody Goody for expanding choice for Texas consumers. They can now enjoy the excellent wines of Santa Barbara County.”

Martellotto Winery delights consumers with expertly crafted, highly distinctive wines. Santa Barbara County is well-known for its delicious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. However, Happy Canyon has the ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.

Wine aficionados in California savor wines from Happy Canyon. With near perfect geography, it is a rising star in the vast California wine galaxy. This small AVA has very few producing wineries and only a handful of vineyards. 

“Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is unique in the county,” continues Greg. “The vineyards are located on west-facing, high slopes. The fruit develops qualities that compete with the best of Napa at a more affordable price point.”

Martellotto’s star is also rising. Some recent Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara County award-winning wines include “La Bomba” Cabernet Sauvignon and Riserva “Il Capoccia” red blend. With fresh 90+ ratings, and several Gold Medal recognitions at competitive blind wine competitions, these wines deliver exceedingly more than the price indicates.

Now, Texas wine drinkers can taste the magic of Martellotto Winery and Happy Canyon. Goody Goody will carry the following wines beginning 1/01/2020.

Goody Goody Liquors, founded in 1964, is the number one volume liquor store chain in Dallas. It operates 27 retail stores in the Dallas, Houston, and Longview regions. Its six wholesale locations service between 600 and 700 hotels and restaurants.

About Martellotto Winery

Set deep in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, Martellotto Winery makes handcrafted, beautiful and exciting wines using selected grapes from across California’s Central Coast. American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) include Happy Canyon AVA, Sta. Rita Hills AVA, Santa Ynez Valley AVA, and Santa Maria Valley AVA. 

Owner and winemaker, Greg Martellotto, specializes in Bordeaux varietals. Martellotto Winery is one of the few wineries producing single varietal wines of all five of the noble Bordeaux grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.


Greg Martellotto, Owner            

Martellotto Winery