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Santa Ynez/Solvang Winery recs

Hi all,

Planning a trip to the Santa Ynez area in a few weeks and was wondering if anyone had any winery recs while I'm there. I was thinking of spending the night in Solvang, if that helps narrow things.

As always, a good food rec is appreciated.

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  1. For Wineries I suggest Rusack, Curtis, Beckman, Daniel Gehrs and Beckman.
    As for food the Ballard Inn is great, also the Los Olivos Cafe and I enjoy the Hitching Post, but many disagee.

    1. Bruce has good suggestions. I'd also add Alma Rosa, Lincourt and Kalyra.

      Los Olivos cafe is great, Mattei's is yummy. Whilst in Solvang, go to Arne's for abelskiever, Paula's for pancakes, panini for sandwiches and the Olive place for Olive tasting.

      1. I highly recommend Blackjack Ranch, Foxen, and Zaca Mesa for a good cross-section of the local wines. There are a couple of combined tasting rooms in Los Olivos where samples of some of the smaller, more interesting wines from the area are available, too.

        And I'll second the recs for Alma Rosa, Lincourt, and Mattei's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dgasser

          I second Zaca Mesa, that was probably the highlight of our last trip.

        2. Make a day of Kalyra and Sunstone! Sunstone is very romantic, whereas Kalyra is more laid back. Artiste, in town, is a fun stop too. It's a blending facility, but you can paint on their notepad, play chess, or soak in the wine paintings while you are there. As for dinner, I would recommend Elements, in Santa Barbara.

          1. Right in Solvang, hit Trio. It is at tasting room run by Kris Curran (ex of Sea Smoke fame) and Bruno D'Alphonso who runs his own DiBruno and Badge labels. I particularly like the Curran Grenache Blanc and Syrah as well as Badge Pinot.

            1. The drive out to Rancho Sisquoc this time of the year should be gorgeous now that the fields are green from our last rains. This is the most remote site but a beautiful country drive.

              See it before they develop the heck out of the Santa Ynez Valley. And in 10 years the weather patterns will have changed so much it dries up the wine industry here. Maybe this is why Firestone cut and ran now.

              1. In addition to all the other good suggestion, a trip out to Lompoc is worth it to visit Melville and Foley (and I'm sure there are many others). If you have the time, dinner at Cold Spring Tavern is a unique experience and very delicious. Almost next door to Paula's Pancakes is the House of Honeywood where they do tastings and feature reasonably priced wines from all over the area.

                1. Our favorites at the moment are Blackjack and Carhartt. We've also enjoyed Rancho Sisquoc, Longoria, Daniel Gehrs, Buttonwood and Foxen.

                  I'd eat at Hitching Post any day of the week, and love Brothers' Restaurant at Mattei's tavern. The Sidestreet Cafe in Los Olivos is a favorite, too, as is Panino for a takeout sandwich or box lunch.

                  We enjoyed Tastes of the Valleys in Solvang - a cross between a tasting room and an elegant bar, which offered a nice selection of wine tastings and light snacks (and even had a beer menu if you were wined out).


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cookie doh

                    Grappolo (N.Italian) in tiny downtown Santa Ynez, next to the infamous Maverick Saloon is also very nice dining in this part of the world.

                  2. for a 'hearty breakfast' try the Longhorn in downtown Santa Ynez. East end of the main downtown street, Madera. Locals place. Linguica!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: toodie jane

                      this is a gear shift and it might get switched to another board, but since I only see linguica on the CC, I am going to ask. What is the difference between Liguica and Spanish chorizo? they both taste similar to me. Yeah one is from Portugal and one from Spain but is there any any difference. As far as wineries go, I push Alma Rosa and I also like Lafond especially their Syarhs.

                    2. Disclosure - I pour at Trio on the weekends. And I can recommend all of their wines. It is at 4th & Mission(AKA 246) in an old bakery and the winemakers are top notch - Kris Curran & Bruno D'alfonso formerly of Sanford. Stolpman is very good and also in Solvang, and Los Olivos has a lot to offer - Longoria has a number of very good pinots right now. Also, Chef's Touch in Solvang next to Trio is very good for food.

                      1. Try venturing down the "Santa Rita Hills Trail"

                        or "Foxen Canyon Trail"

                        And for food....
                        Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe
                        Mattei's Tavern
                        Trattoria Grappolo
                        and for a little historic "off the beaten path"...Cold Spring Tavern

                        1. I notice this thread is quite old, but a lot of the info here is great. There is a wine group in Santa Ynez www.santaynezwinecountry.com, they usually have some great deals on tasting. There are a lot of new tasting rooms that have opened up in the past two years, hard to try them all, but this site is a good place to start.
                          Also, there's a new bakery that opened in Santa Ynez which is worth a visit, The Baker's Table, 3563 Numancia St. And the Brother's opened their new restaurant, Sides Hardware and Shoes in Los Olivos. Check out everything!!