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OUR STORY

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, the Gold Coast Vineyard was planted by Ron Burk and Bob Espinola, owners of Gold Coast Farms. The 30 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes sit atop a breathtaking bluff at Fuglar's Point, a beautiful and unique landscape in the prestigious Santa Maria Valley AVA of Santa Barbara County.

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 6,500 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. Gary and his wife, Teresa Gasca-Burk, oversee the tasting room, where visitors can enjoy local, live music on the weekends. On occasion, you may even catch them onstage performing with the bands! Come enjoy wine, music, friends and the casual, relaxed vibe at Costa de Oro.

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 6,500 cases annually. In 2020, Costa de Oro returned to the Au Bon Climat facility for all it's production needs.

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'm excited for people to come visit Costa de Oro and see everything that we have to offer!"

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Our Manager - Colin Jackson

Although Colin is new to the industry, his creativity, passion and loyalty to Costa de Oro, work ethic, and vision makes him a welcomed asset to our team.

"When I started working at Costa de Oro, I began to understand that something different and special was happening here. There's a sense of community and family within a casual atmosphere that's filled with personality. I sort of fell in love with the tasting room, and found myself wanting to do whatever I could to get more people out to experience what happens here. My simple goal is to protect and enhance the spirit and image of Costa de Oro."

 

Colin’s interest in wine began when his good friend entered the industry in 2013 working at a winery on the Foxen Wine Trail in Santa Maria. He gained insight into the industry over the years, and grew to love the different experiences that he would have at wineries in the area as a guest. Because of his growing curiosity of what it would be like to lead a tasting room he decided to apply at Costa de Oro in June of 2019. Gary and Teresa saw qualities in Colin that drove them to offer a leadership position to him. He began his role as Tasting Room Manager in February of 2020. 

Colin is here to serve you, and is very grateful for the opportunity to do so, so if there’s anything you need, don't hesitate to ask for him.