Louis Lucas and Royce Lewellen were friends before they were ever business partners. One of their common interests was their love of Santa Barbara County. Louis had been a successful grape grower for many years, and had the reputation to match, while Royce was a judge and dreamer who imagined what Santa Barbara could be as a wine region. They banded together to create Lucas & Lewellen Wines. Today, Michael Lewellen, Royce’s son, is the managing partner, making Lucas & Lewellen a second-generation family-owned winery. The Lucas & Lewellen vineyards have become legendary for lovers of premium wines from Santa Barbara County since 1975.
Santa Barbara’s topography is unlike any other wine region. The east-west orientation of the mountain range forms a valley opening directly to the Pacific Ocean. That cool ocean breeze is a hallmark of the Santa Barbara climate, and one that Louis and Royce wanted to highlight in their wines. They acquired the three vineyards that have myriad microclimates, from cool Santa Maria Valley to moderate Los Alamos Valley, known for fresh and vibrant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to warmer Santa Ynez Valley, which produces stellar Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.