Welcome to Costa de Oro Winery! Our mission is to produce the finest wines from the Central Coast using the artistry of Old-World winemaking styles and New-World grape growing practices.
In 1989 on a breathtaking bluff at Fuglar's Point in Santa Maria, California, the Gold Coast Vineyard was planted by Costa de Oro's founding members Ron Burk and Bob Espinola. The 30 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes sit atop a beautiful and unique landscape in the prestigious Santa Barbara Appellation.
The vineyard began producing fruit in the early 90's, and grapes were sold to local wineries including Au Bon Climat, Foxen, Lane Tanner, and The Hitching Post. During this time Gary Burk, son of Ron Burk, developed a friendship with Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat. Clendenen offered Gary a harvest position at the famed Au Bon Climat/Qupé Winery in 1994. Ultimately, Gary was offered a full time position and stayed until 2002.
While at ABC/Qupé in 1994, Gary produced the first Costa de Oro wines; 1 barrel each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each year Costa de Oro continued to grow, reaching 2,500 cases in the year 2002 when Gary decided to devote his full time to Costa de Oro. Today, Costa de Oro produces 7,500 cases annually. Costa de Oro also produces special private labels for clients such as James Beard Award Winner Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurants, the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach and CF Pinot Noir for Master Sommelier, Chuck Furuya, of the Sansei Restaurant Group.
The Costa de Oro Tasting Room opened in 2006 at the original location of the Gold Coast Farms' strawberry stand off the 101 Freeway in Santa Maria. Visitors can enjoy local, live music on the weekends in the tasting room with our casual and relaxed vibe.
Our Winemaker - Gary Burk
Though born into a farming family, Costa de Oro Winemaker Gary Burk’s first love was music. After earning his business degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a musician. It was not until his father, Ron Burk and business partner Bob Espinola planted the Gold Coast Vineyard in his hometown of Santa Maria, when Burk's interest in the wine industry took off. He began selling Gold Coast grapes to winemakers from his LA base.
In 1993, while visiting Santa Maria, Gary was invited to dinner with Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat and Dominique Lafon of Domaine des Comtes Lafon. After that evening, Gary was hooked...funny what a great glass of Meursault will do! In 1994, Burk was invited to work harvest at the Au Bon Climat/Qupe facility and was hired full time in 1995. He worked in production and marketing for ABC/Qupé until August of 2002, when he left to devote all of his time and energy to Costa de Oro. Since then, the production of Costa de Oro increased each year to the current level of 7,500 cases annually. Costa de Oro currently operates out of the Central Coast Wines Services facility in Santa Maria.
Gary and his wines have received critical acclaim, including 90 point scores or higher from Robert Parker, James Laube/Wine Spectator, and Wine and Spirits Magazine. He has also had wines named in the Top 100 Wines of the Year by Wines and Spirits Magazine (2000), the San Francisco Chronicle (2001), Wine Country Living (2003), and has had wines named "Best in Show" at both the Orange County and Santa Barbara County Fairs. Most recently, his 2015 Reserva Oro Rojo Pinot Noir was the winner of the Pasadena Pinotfaire "Special Pinot Noir Challenge."
"The transition from music to wine-making was easy," says Burk. "There are a lot of similarities in the two industries; both rely on a blending of technique, artistry and feel." Burk says his goal is to produce wines with balance, elegance and texture, reflecting Old World Style and Terrior of the vineyard. "I can't wait for people to come visit Costa de Oro and see everything that we have to offer!"