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santa barbara wine??

We are going to be in Ventura next Saturday, staying in Santa Barbara that night, and then hoping to wine taste on our way back to SF. I would love any rec's & suggestions of vineyards / tasting rooms we should try and go to. Thanks!

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  1. If you will be in Santa Barbara, plan to do a tasting at Santa Barbara Winery. It is right in downtown Santa Barbara. Do not be put off by it's simple warehouse exterior. All their wines are excellent and well priced. My cousin,a wine industry professional, even joined their wine club, the first and only wine club she ever joined. You will not be disappointed. Google their website for further info.ENJOY!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sookie

      Be sure and try their ZCS (Zin-Carignane-Sangiovese) if it's available. Great with steaks, zesty Italian dishes, etc.

    2. Santa Barbara itself has several tasting rooms- Whitcraft, Santa Barbara Winery, Summerland (the town just south of Santa Barbara), Jaffurs, Margerum (owner of the Wine Cask now makes his own wine)...most places are open until 5pm- some close at 4pm! Try www.destinationwinecountry.com for better hours and locations.

      I reccomend Jaffurs for the exquisite Rhone varietals, Whitcraft for Bien Nacido Vineyard specific wines ( he is famous for the "Q" block )- I think at 205 Anacapa-right by Santa Barbara Winery- there is a new place that is pretty cool- several young vintners making and selling from their "cellar"- actually a old tire shop!

      There is plenty of info on this space for the Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles areas for tasting stops.

      1. North of Santa Barbara in Arroyo Grande is Talley, who make my favorite pinot noir.

        1. Mr Talley passed away this past Monday Our local news had a very nice bit about him-about his helping create the world class environment in the AG/SLO area. Sorry to have to pass along this news. They had a great interview with Steve Rasmussen- the Talley winemaker- about Mr Talley- sounded like a great guy.

          1. Not too far off the 101, you can go hit Sanford (wines have gone downhill over the years, but still a charming tasting room), and if you keep going out that road, you will hit Lafond (same winemaker as Santa Barbara Winery, but better wines IMO). If you want a real detour, do the foxen canyon trail. Foxen still makes some great pinot's, even though it's been exploited by that damn movie. Further up, Byron and Cambria (so-so) are ok. Not sure if you can make an appointment for tasting at Tantara (in the Bien Nacido vineyard), but if you can, I would highly reccomend their wines. Can't remember the name of the little town around Santa Maria, but ask about Chef Rick's place to eat at. Too many other wineries to mention....

            1 Reply
            1. re: allforepar

              Sanford winery is no longer owned by Mr. Sanford, it was stolen from under him by the company he hired to help manage it. Mr Sanford now owns and runs Alma Rosa, whcih makes fabulous wines. Anything with a Sanfor label is no longe made by him, though, whichi is why it is crap now.

              However, MR. Sanford still owns the tastin room, and will soon push the pretenders out of it for the new Alma Rosa tasting room! Right now, though, they are tasting out of a warehouse space in Buellton. Really GREAT wines, though!

            2. Please do go out Santa Rosa rd (off the 101 in Buellton), but avoid Sanford- they are not the quaint winery they were 3 yrs ago because they were bought out by a huge corporation that had become an investor and took over. The Sanfords now make Alma Rosa wine and you can taste that in the town of Buellton on Industrial Way. I am not sure if Bruno is the winemaker for Alma Rosa, but out that way is Babcock and Melville- though not on Santa Rosa rd- you'd have to do a circle that would take at least 2.5 hrs with driving and tasting. It is so beautiful here this time of year!

              Orcutt is where Chef Ricks is located, and you'll be glad you did stop to visit.

              1. Sanford from the 2002 vintage own sucks, I agree.

                1. Babcock, Foxen, Byron, Fess Parker (yes, one in the same), to name just a few wines from this great growing region...