Simply as Santa Barbara has panorama varieties aplenty – a sublime mesh of sea, mountains, and concrete terrain – the wine varietals produced within the area are equally as outstanding.
So outstanding, the truth is, that Santa Barbara County took residence Wine Fanatic Journal’s prestigious Wine Area of the 12 months Award in 2021, beating out locales in-state in addition to in France, South Africa, and New Zealand.
Whereas the world is famend for its Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay masterpieces, there are many distinctive tastes available stemming from its seven (sure, seven!) federally designated wine-growing areas (often known as American Viticultural Areas or AVAs). A enjoyable reality to your subsequent trivia night time, these areas are Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, Completely satisfied Canyon, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita, Santa Ynez Valley and, formally added in 2020, Alisos Canyon.
There are a lot of methods to expertise wine in Santa Barbara County. From property tastings in movie-like settings to a tasting-room-clad small city tucked within the Santa Ynez Valley to an city wine path, you possibly can take your choose of wine adventures in The American Riviera. Right here is the place your vino can be primo.
Discover a number of gorgeous vineyards with property tastings
Based on the Santa Barbara County Vintners Affiliation, the area is residence to greater than 275 wineries and 70-plus totally different wine grape varieties. So, the query turns into the place to start?
For a quintessential Santa Barbara County wine expertise, there may be nothing like going straight to a winery (or 5), with tastings usually within the $20 to $30-plus vary. Many are accessible inside an hour’s drive of town of Santa Barbara’s city confines.
Should you’re seeking to winery hop and go away the driving to another person after a number of tastings, corporations like Coastal Concierge, Vacation spot Vine, Rooted Vine Excursions and Stagecoach Co. Wine Excursions supply day-long personal and/or group outings with transportation.
Should you’re making your personal journey, choose a winery that matches the vibe and varietals you search, as every has its personal taste, actually and figuratively. Ensure that to name forward to see if reservations are required.
On the fashionable property finish of the spectrum is Santa Maria’s Presqu’ile. Opened in 2013, this 13,000-plus sq. foot, stone-clad tasting advanced – with wine caves, partitions of home windows and vibrant wood accents – stands out amid its seemingly countless rows of vines. To maximise a go to, guide a horseback tour of the grounds or a “Wine & Bocce” expertise – sure, there’s a regulation-size Bocce courtroom right here.
Santa Rita Hills’ Melville provides numerous 90-minute “Past the Barrel” excursions that may appease the wine novice and aficionado alike. Past merely swirling glasses, you usually get to enterprise into the vineyards, studying concerning the soil, local weather, course of and extra alongside the best way. Publish-trek, hit the huge Mediterranean-inspired tasting room and park it on the patio for inexperienced mountain views.
For Bordeaux and polo lovers, Completely satisfied Canyon Winery – which is tucked on the japanese fringe of the Santa Ynez Valley – is bliss with two regulation-sized polo fields on-site serving because the icing on the cake. Personal tastings can be found at its Piocho Ranch, however you’ll wish to guide such an unique expertise two-plus weeks prematurely.
Within the Santa Maria Valley, Foxen has developed right into a multifaceted powerhouse, with two distinctive tasting rooms, one among which was as soon as lovingly often known as “The Shack” (a wood, former blacksmith store) and the opposite being a solar-powered, trendy advanced accomplished in 2009. Spectacular buildings apart, its hearty Pinot choices additionally dazzle.
Expertise small-town attraction and new-world wine in Los Olivos
You don’t should dream of a magical small city with streets lined with tasting rooms and regionally bred bistros – it exists in Los Olivos. Geographically in the course of Santa Barbara County and roughly 40 minutes northwest of Santa Barbara’s epicenter, you’ll discover this wine utopia simply walkable and navigable.
Past having a delegated driver to your personal automobile, you possibly can simply snag a Lyft/Uber, or corporations like Golden Rooster have personal shuttles for bigger teams.
Alongside its Grand Avenue essential drag and surrounding cluster of streets are greater than 30 tasting rooms from a few of the area’s heaviest hitters. Amongst them are Carhartt Household Wines, Dragonette Cellars and Refugio Ranch Vineyards. Amid the extra distinctive experiences, hit Stolpman Vineyards’ outside patio for a tasting, which has a coated, garden-like setting.
To take advantage of bang to your Los Olivos journey buck, be certain that to ask your favourite tasting room about any present in-house and town-wide provides. As with many estates and wine-centric companies, for those who purchase a bottle, your tasting (typically $20-plus) could also be free or discounted. There have additionally been money-saving applications between partnering tasting rooms (e.g. for those who purchase a tasting at one spot, you get a ticket for half off at one other). The underside line: Simply ask! This city of roughly 1000 residents is as pleasant because it will get.
Depart the automobile at residence on the Santa Barbara City Wine Path
Whereas Santa Barbara County’s dreamy estates and Los Olivos present a chance to discover the area’s terrain, you don’t have to go away city to get your wine repair. In reality, there’s a Santa Barbara City Wine Path centered on Santa Barbara’s tasting-room-heavy neighborhoods – together with the Funk Zone and Presidio – in addition to choose spots in close by Summerland and Goleta.
In a metropolis that’s usually refined, head to the edgy, warehouse-clad Funk Zone for a real city expertise.
Margerum is tucked simply off State Road, and also you’ll possible wish to take residence a bottle or two of its celebrated M5 Property White Rhone Mix. Ensure that to take pleasure in its mega cheese and charcuterie board, when you’re at it. Municipal Winemakers caters to the youthful crowd, with conglomerated previous submitting cupboards as décor, indoor bistro lighting, and massive, colourful branding typically draping its bottle choices.
To expertise somewhat little bit of all the most recent Santa Barbara wine buzz below one roof, hit the Santa Barbara Wine Collective, which builds flights that includes hotspots from all through Santa Barbara County.
Tasting charges – typically operating within the $20 to $30-plus vary – can add up. Should you’re planning to pop in a number of metropolis spots, the City Wine Path Membership Card can prevent some main dough within the lengthy haul. For $200, it will get you a free tasting in any respect 33 wineries alongside the path in addition to reductions on bottles. You may order one prematurely of your journey or choose one up at a taking part vineyard.
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