Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Wineries
I am planning a wine tour of this area for early next week. I'm not all that familiar with the wineries in this area. Are there any suggestions on which ones are "must" visits? I found a list of wineries online and have listed some that I don't know below. If you are familiar with any of them, I would love to hear your comments. If there are some I should visit that aren't on this list, please let me know. Thanks.
Wineries found online:
Costa de Oro, Addamo, Rancho Sisquoc, Foxen, Koehler, Curtis,
Bedford Thompson, Rusack, Lafond, Foley, Babcock, Melville, Brander, Bridlewood, Roblar, Beckmen, Lincourt, Rideau, Artiste, Kalyra, Gainey, Sunstone
There were many more, but these caught my eye for some reason or another.
Shortly after they opened their new tasting room (last year? year before?) we did the tasting at Foley. It was something like $5 including the glass, and we thought it was worthwhile. I've had some nice Beckmen wines but haven't been to their winery.
I get an awful lot of wine shipped to me from Melville. Their Estate Pinot Noir is good. Their reserve Pinot Noirs (Terraces and Carrie's) are excellent. They also have a tastey Viognier. I'm not a chardonnay fan but theirs isn't bad.
We recently visited the area and enjoyed the wines at Rusack, Gainey, Babcock, and
Lafond. Some require appointments and are not available every day.
On our last visit, we stopped at the tasting rooms on Grand Ave in Los Olivos; Andrew Murray, Brophy Clark, Alexander&Wayne, and Daniel Gehrs were all good.
We visited Melville, Babcock, Foley, LaFond, Rancho Sisquoc, Foxen, Zaca Mesa, Curtis and Firestone and enjoyed them all.
For a great meal, I'd highly recommend Patrick's Side Street Cafe in Los Olivos and Brother's Restaurant at Mattei's Tavern.
I agree with your assessment and would add the Epiphany tasting room to your list.
I am also a fan of Flying Goat Cellars (Patrick, chef/owner of Side Street tuned me on to it.)
Lastly, I am a big fan of the red oak barbeque found in Los Olivos, Nipomo, Santa Maria - so don't forget about places like Jocko's, Far Wester or HP (I or II) in your quest for excellent chow.