The Wandering Wino Blog

Kurt Russell Wine, GoGi Pours In History


(Photo above - Courtsey of Cobie Scott) 

Kurt Russell, Ampelos Cellars, and History Team Up! 



Actor Kurt Russell, along with actress Kate Hudson and Muse singer Matt Bellamy have teamed up with Ampelos Cellars over the past few years to produce local world class wines (in Sta Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County). The relationship began with Russell's GoGi label in 2008 and a beautiful Pinot Noir to be followed by the elegant GoGi 'Goldie' Chardonnay soon after. More recently, the collaboration produced a Rose under the Hudson-Bellamy label. I have yet to taste the Rose; however I have no doubts to the quality coming from the talented Ampelos winemakers/owners, Peter and Rebecca Work.  



Ampelos Co-Fermentation



Los Alamos 135 sign



A beautiful and exciting new dynamic in an iconic location is beginning to take shape with this talented group in Los Alamos, California, just south of Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County. Peter and Rebecca Work and their friends are to open a wine saloon inside of the historic 1880 Union Hotel with hotel owners Dan and Ana Thompson. The Thompsons will retain the hotel's ownership. The name of the saloon will be - The 1880 Union Hotel Wine Saloon. 



1880 Union Hotel




"Los Alamos has always been one of my favorite hidden gems. Serving my wines at The 1880 Union Hotel and opening the wine saloon is a dream come true." - Kurt Russell


Gogi Ampelos Corks



Russell first entered the wine scene with the Works because of his deep passion for wine. After I spent an afternoon with Peter, Rebecca and Ampelos team member Cobie Scott last year, I quickly began to understand the true interest, passion, and hands-on influence Russell has with his GoGi wine. Rebecca and Peter shared the sophistication of Russell's palette and how he'll taste the wine and dial-in exactly what he is looking for to really make it shine.


Gogi Pinot Noir Goldie




As I sat and listened, I continued to learn more and more of the frequency of his visits to the vineyard, his personal touch, influence, and even hand-dipping the bottles in the wax. Russell elected to use the much less recognizable childhood nickname GoGi over his celebrity name because of his geniune interest to produce a memorable wine. While I can say I have only tasted the wine once, it was very memorable and impressive. 



Shuffle Board

(Photo above - Courtsey of Cobie Scott) 

The historic hotel's fascinating interest seems to go on and on, including two chandeliers that hang in the hotel from the movie Gone With The Wind. A music video of the song "Say,Say, Say" from Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson was filmed at the hotel. The pool table, shuffle board and bocce ball court just encourage guests to linger in a fun atmosphere. The Union Hotel was an original Wells Fargo Stagecoach stop, a telegraph office, and a overnight stay for many travelers. 


1880 Union Hotel Wine Saloon

(Photo above - Courtsey of Cobie Scott) 

The hotel has many special features in the saloon area such as the original bar, signed dollar bills on the ceiling, and 1880's western memorabilia. All of these special treasures will remain with very minimal change. The saloon will remain intact and be appreciated for what it has been for years. In this fun and interesting saloon visitors will be offered three local high end Santa Barbara County wine labels.


Ampelos Syrache




The full flight of wines include:


Hudson-Bellamy Rose

GoGi 'Goldie' Chardonnay

GoGi Pinot Noir

Ampelos Grenache

Ampelos Syrache (a proprietary name blend of Grenache/Syrah)

Ampelos Syrah

These hard-to-find low-production wines will be the full line-up available at The 1880 Hotel Wine Saloon. Visitors will be encouraged to sit, relax, taste, buy a bottle, or sip a glass. 


Rebecca Work Ampelos


Russell's sister, Jami, is said to run the saloon during its operating hours (confirmed at time of post) Friday to Saturday 11 AM - 8 PM,  and 11 AM - 5 PM Sunday. Grand opening set to take place on Saturday February 15th. As I spoke with Cobie recently, she shared how excited all the stakeholders are to be part of the community with amazing restaurants like Full of Life Flatbread,Bell Street Farms, along with neighboring wineries Bedford and Casa Dumetz.


The 1880 Union Hotel   |   362 Bell St.  Los Alamos, CA 93440   |   805-344-2744


A big heart of gratitude to both the Ampelos and GoGi teams for allowing me to hear this story first.