I first hit the Sanford Winery several years ago while vacationing in California, and driving nort on the 101. I only knew that it was on a list of wineries mentioned in the movie Sideways (which I had not yet seen).
My wife and I turned a left off of Santa Rosa Rd. and drove through a field of grape vines, leading to an oak lined drive, that took us to a rustic tasting room. After trying some wines, and looking around, my wife found and autographed "Sideways" book (which is better than the fantastic movie). We promptly purchased the book, and a couple bottles of our favorite wine of the day, the Sanford Chardonnay.
Though this Chardonnay is not from the same year as that first taste, the Sanford quality remains consistent. This golden straw colored wine is well balanced, and not too light. The flavors of fruit (in particular apple) and a twinge of oak, are offset by a light acidity, which keeps the wine from becomming too heavy. I'd recommend this wine for a pasta with cream sauce, chicken, or a strongly flavored fish (salmon, tuna, etc.)
Wine Recommendation: Good Buy. But drink now. I don't think it has much longer to age.
Price: $$$ (mid-$20s: Wine in NC is more expensive than in CA)
5010 Santa Rosa Road
Lompoc, California 93427