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Tercero Wines

Santa Barbara County region


Grape quality is of the utmost important to Larry, and that is very evident in the impressive quality of Tercero's range of boutique wines.

Larry Schaffer is a man who approached his career with a determination to succeed. He had already concluded a rewarding career in the educational trade and publishing business, but had reached a point in his life when he felt he needed a change of direction to keep himself motivated. He recalled a joyful trip to Napa Valley in the early 1980's that had piqued his interest in wine and realized that was where his future efforts would take root.

Even though Larry held a degree in marketing and finance from UC Berkeley, he decided to return to school to improve his skills in this specific arena. He attended a number of junior colleges where he studied chemistry and biology and was able to secure part-time employment in wineries located around Temecula, California. Realizing that wine was his true calling, Larry also enrolled in the most revered wine learning institution, the University of California Davis, and completed a Masters in Vinification and Enology. Upon his completion of the degree, Larry accepted the winemaker position at the well respected Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara County, and he has remained in that winegrowing region to this day.

In 2011, Larry began making his own wines under the Tercero Wines label. "Tercero means third in Spanish," Larry has explained. "I'm the third child in my family and I have three kids to boot. The name came to me while I was at UC Davis. The student housing facilities had Spanish number names and mine was called Tercero. When I needed a name for the winery, it was simply a no-brainer."

The production of Tercero Wines has risen from its original offering of 300 cases to between 2,000 and 2,500 cases for this calendar year. Larry has received many accolades and consistent praise for his Tercero wines. He insists he loves what he does and that his marketing expertise has propelled him and his winery into national prominence.

Larry Schaffer sources his grapes from Santa Barbara County vineyards, most within a twenty-mile radius of his tasting room facility in downtown Los Olivos (Santa Ynez Valley). Grape quality is of the utmost important to Larry, and that is very evident in the impressive quality of Tercero's range of boutique wines. We are happy to share this excellent selection with our Garagiste Wine Club members. Cheers!

Map of the area

Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear <I>Platinum Wine Club</I> Members,

I am so very pleased to share my Tercero 2013 Mourvèdre, Santa Barbara County with you and tell you a little more about Tercero, me, and this particular wine.

I am the owner and winemaker for Tercero Wines. I didn’t ‘set out’ to become a winemaker, but eventually earned my Masters Degree from UC Davis in Viticulture and Enology and planted myself firmly here in Santa Barbara County.

I chose the Santa Barbara County area because I love the vibe of the place, and the fact that, for the most part, the wines are more about ‘substance’ and less about the ‘pomp and circumstance’ that is prevalent in our industry. I worked on the winemaking team at Fess Parker Winery and Epiphany Cellars for seven vintages before branching off and starting my own label.

I concentrate on Rhône varieties and fervently feel that there is no better place in California for producing these varieties than right here. I hand create about a dozen different wines per year, focusing mainly on single variety reds and whites - and a wonderful Mourvèdre Rosé - along with a few blends.

I love what I do, and I love sharing it with people like you. I truly put my all into my wines - foot stomping my reds, doing as much of the winemaking that I can myself, and even hand-selling my wines to accounts. I also love to teach others and teach Introduction to Winemaking at the local junior college.

This Mourvèdre is a blend of four different vineyard sites located throughout the county, and each adds ‘something’ to the blend. Each was picked, fermented, and aged separately in 4+ year old French oak barrels for 34 months, never being removed from the barrels until just before bottling. It is a wine meant to enjoy now, but will certainly continue to offer enjoyment over the next decade or more.

One of my joys is staying in touch with my customers as I really enjoy the feedback and answering any questions that may arise. Please feel free to reach out any time, and if you are in the Los Olivos area, please stop by my tasting room for a visit!


Larry Schaffer, Owner and Winemaker