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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. I really would recommend a drive up to Los Olivos. Have a nice lunch at the Los Olivos Cafe, then wine tasting at Andrew Murray in Los Olivos. Some other nice wineries in the area include Foxen, Fess Parker, and Firestone

    1. I would hit Stolpman's tasting room in Solvang. While you're in town, stop by the tourist office and get the map to the 5 or 6 other tasting rooms within walking distance.

      1. A good starting point is Santa Barbara winery. They have lots of maps and can give you good advice on where to go in the Santa Ynez area. I'd also consider Gainey,(once you get to Santa Ynez) which is a very pretty place. And there's Foxen--which is funky, but they're great people and have some lovely wines. I also like the folks, and the wines, at Melville. Also, for lunch, consider Patrick's Side Street Cafe, right around the corner from the Los Olivos Cafe. And there's a good place for lunch at the Fess Parker Inn. They're all right in Los Olivos.

        1. I would recommend these wineries in the Santa Ynez area:
          Babcock, Foley, Rancho Sisquoc, Foxen, Curtis and Firestone(next to each other), Presidio in Solvang. In Los Olivos, Andrew Murray, Brophy Clark and Alexander&Wayne all have tasting rooms.

          I agree with "perk" that Patrick's Side Street Cafe, www.patrickssidestreetcafe.com, is a great place.

          1. Foxen for the Pinots - Los Olivos tasting room (Au Bon Climat, Qupe, etc.) - and in addition to Santa Ynez, don't forget Paso Robles region on the way north

            1. My favorite Santa Ynez winery is Rideau. I find their wines are better quality and more interesting (rhone varietals often) than most wineries often suggested, but the tastings are also more expensive. I also think the winery itself is the most beautiful I've been to, the picnic area is heaven. http://www.rideauvineyard.com/

              I also had a great time at Beckmen Vineyards. Their syrahs typically have high alcohol content...the last time I went there they were just closing so they were pouring full glasses...for free...Um...yeah good thing my hotel was nearby.


              1. We just did the trip--we went to Bridlewood first (not recommended--4 pours for $7 and the wines were not that great) but now I'd do Brander, then Los Olivos for lunch and a strip of tasting rooms (Andrew Murray the highpoint here). Don't miss Sanford--$5 for 5 pours and they refund it if you buy wine. Great pinots at Sanford, whereas lots in the area specialize in Rhone varietals. Don't set out to do too much, either. I've posted our itinerary and some notes on the vineyards (the latter still in progress), on http://goodwineunder20.blogspot.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dr. Debs

                  Another note--if you go to Brander, there's a great little olive oil stand just accross the street called Los Olivos. Ask for Shannon...and tasted some olive oil It's a great gift idea, too, for the holidays.

                2. Wish we'd gone to taste olive oil instead of going to Bridlewood...

                  1. Brander is well worth a visit, particularly for whites. Farther north, near San Luis Obispo, Talley, Baileyana and Domaine Alfred are good. Farther north from that, in the Paso Robles area, Turley, Justin, Wild Horse and Eberle often have interesting wines, mostly reds. Linne Calodo is small place that has some interesting reds, too.

                    1. Rancho Olivos Olive Oil- Shannon Casey is her name- great oil, especially the Meyer Lemon. Another great local product is the Rancho Nogales Walnut Oil from Santa Rosa rd in Buellton - outstanding roasted walnut oil. The lady who produces and sells it (Wed farmers market in Solvang- Sat market in SB sometimes) told me she eats 2 T each morning first thing!