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Benjamin Silver Wines

Benjamin Silver Wines Who would have guessed that a kid from Amherst, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences (Pre-Veterinary) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian from the University of Massachusetts, would end up in Santa Barbara County as an up-and-coming winemaker? Benjamin Silver did just that after catching the wine bug in 1993 at a summer job at Chicama Vineyards on Martha’s Vineyard. After graduating from college in 1994, Benjamin used his science background to land a harvest intern Lab Technician position with winemaker Daniel Gehrs at Zaca Mesa Winery in Santa Barbara County. After harvest, the winery offered him a full-time position as Lab Supervisor. “Dan took me under his wing as an apprentice winemaker and nurtured my passion for viticulture and winemaking” explained Benjamin. Upon Gehrs’ departure in 1998, Benjamin took over Zaca Mesa’s winemaking helm. Benjamin also began to experiment with small quantities of Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Nebbiolo. This experimentation laid the foundation for the eventual formation of his Silver label. He left Zaca Mesa in 2000 to pursue the development of his own label, while also taking over as winemaker for White Hawk Vineyard. Benjamin Silver Wines currently produces extremely small bottlings of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Mourvedre, Syrah, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese from Santa Barbara County. The vineyards in Santa Barbara County benefit from sandstone and loam soils, over 300 days of sunshine a year, and a maritime regulated climate. Within the region, there is a diverse range of mesoclimates. These unique areas provide the ideal climatic conditions for growing a wide range of grape varietals well. The ability to purchase world-class quality fruit, fruit which produces wines with intense flavor and complex regional character, keeps Benjamin committed to Santa Barbara County wines. Benjamin sums up his winemaking philosophy: “My focus is to enhance the multidimensional character of each varietal—to reflect the personality of the vineyard and the grape in perfect harmony in each of my wines! That’s what makes winemaking exciting!”


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2445 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos, CA, US, 93441 Email:
Phone: 805-686-9699 Web:
Fax: 805-686-9799
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  Cabernet Franc
Sourced from the Thompson Vineyard, this wine is enormous in body, but still maintains its Cabernet Franc character. Aromas of violets, lavender, blueberries, nutmeg, and ripe strawberry fruit. The mid-palate is full and spicy, with firm tannins. 5% Cabernet Sauvignon was added to soften, iron out, and lengthen the Cabernet Franc’s rough edges. Succulent and juicy, this is the perfect steak wine. Drink over the next 10 years.
  Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas of black plum, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, clove, orange peel, sweet tar, and cinnamon. The wine enters the mouth in a silky smooth manner, with ripe black fruits and red licorice flavors impressing the taste buds. The addition of 5% Cabernet Franc enlivens the midpalate with bright acidity. The combination expands the wine into a focused finish of fruit and tannin all wrapped up together. Drink now through 2008.
  I Tre Figli (The Three Sons)
50% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc
  Mourvedre Larner Vineyard
This is a “barrel select” Mourvedre from Larner Vineyard. I’ve selected parts of the best barrels from the 2001 Mourvedre and blended them, adding 5 % Syrah to complete the blend. The resulting wine is a mix of wild blackberry fruit, sweet tar, smoke, and mineral. 73% new French Oak and 27% seasoned French and American Oak.
  Nebbiolo Santa Barbara County
  Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard
The 2000 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir is a very masculine Pinot that shows big up front fruit: ripe black and red fruit flavors, chocolate, and cinnamon. There’s perfect balance with great depth in the mid-palate. The finish is long and rich with integrated tannins. The depth of this Pinot allows it to be matched with all mushroom sauces, spicy arrabiata or capriciosa sauces, fresh Tuna, Duck breast, or the sturdiest of the roasted meat dishes. Drink now through 2010.
  Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard
Reddish-black hue. Warm, perfumed scents of cherry, pomegranate, mocha and coffee. Flavors of plum, cherry, espresso and licorice. Rich, peppery close ends on a sweet note.
  Pinot Noir Lake Marie Vineyard
This Pinot is an earthy, with red and black fruit, huge spice, and lots of finesse. Sourced from a 50 acre block of the old Santa Maria Hills Vineyard. It’s more tradionally Burgundian in style than the Julia’s bottling. The 2000 shows layered spice aromas, coffee, and dark blackberry fruit flavors. It’s balance of fruit and acidity makes a lively mid-palate. The finish is long and delicious. This is a tightly wound wine that has been given extra bottle age to allow it to open and soften in bottle, exposing it’s many layers. Drink now through 2010.
  Pinot Noir Lake Marie Vineyard
Wonderfully complex and seductive nose of red meat, dark berry, mint and vanilla custard. Ultrasmooth and plush with supple tannins, this complex, deeply flavored Pinot offers layers of vibrant berry-cherry fruit, spice and a touch of white pepper buoyed by crisp acidity.
  Sangiovese Tepusquet Vineyard
"Bright red fruits up front here, with plenty of cherry and strawberry, as well as spice, with a pinch of clove and cigar box. The fresh and ripe fruit flavors make this one so easy to drink right now, plus it's a great match-up for Italian cuisine." - Schaefer on Wine
  Silver Nebbiolo
Aromas of sweet vanilla, ripe plum, redcurrant, cherry, tobacco, and black licorice. Soft and spicy with ripe strawberry and plum flavors, medium bodied, with a smooth sexy, silky feel. Finishes with pure fruit. Supple enough to consume now, it's integrated acidity brightens the attractive red fruit flavors on the taste buds, and shows the wine's power, Italian heritage, and youth. Assolutamente delizioso! This is everything a delicious pasta wine should be. Drink now through 2008.
  Syrah - Mourvedre Larner Vineyard
In 2001 this young vineyard’s Syrah and Mourvedre vines were 3rd leaf (3 years old) producing their first crops. The 2001 shows big ripe black fruit flavors, loads of spice, sweet tar and the wild savage Mourvedre character. The blend has 70 percent Mourvedre and 30% Syrah, aged in both new and seasoned French and American barrels for 17 months. The 2001 exhibits great depth, extraction and finesse, which is far from typical of such a young vineyard. Enjoy with anything off the grill, as well as dishes with spicy sauces such as penne puttanesca or capriciosa. Drink over the next 6--8 years.


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