Never judge a winery by it's size, architectural bling, or name recognition. The most unique and well-crafted wines usually come from garage-sized tasting rooms with homemade labels on their bottles. Boekenoogen is definitely beyond garage status, but their tasting room has that down-to-earth charm, the servers (usually a Boekenoogen family member) are the most genuinely friendly and humble folks I've met on the wine trail, and the wines are just jaw-dropping good.
We first tasted here 2 years ago and never forgot the wines or the experience. Pinot, Chard and Syrah are the standouts, but everything they make is gold in my book. We learned a lot about the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation during our tasting back then, and even more this year when Mr. Boekenoogen himself was pouring our wines. He was so pleasant and unpretentious...we wanted to stay and drink his wine with him all day. Instead, we brought home some of their perfect Pinot (Dijon clone), delicate Viogner, and cool climate Syrah.
If you are more concerned about finding memorable, small-production, quality wines than you are with finding a photo-op winery, make sure Boekenoogen is on your list. You'll be a fan for life.