Wineries or Olive Oil Tastings in Santa Barbara?
Any recommendations? My boyfriend and I will be there this weekend (visiting from Napa Valley) and we love UNIQUE tasting rooms.... I have read several previous threads but havent found many notes about anything unique. Most of them mention some nice wineries but none of them really say why.... any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
We are mostly red drinkers ;)
Olive oil tastings-
there are several here in the Valley (Santa Ynez, Ballard, Buellton, Solvang, Los Oliovs), Solvang has the Olive House -on the main drag across from the park- they do wine tastings too. Lots of oils and olives. Global Gardens in Los Olivos has both food and oil samples on the weekends- really neat place- you'll be stoked if the owner is in, she really knows her stuff. Last but not least- Rancho Olivos in Los Olivos- it is across from Brander Winery (good sauvignon blanc/cabernet and merlot, GREAT picnic spot hint-hint) and they usually have 2-3 oils with fresh bread- its a horse farm/olive farm/rescue dog kinda place- very friendly and if you love animals, are you in luck. Some years they have Meyer lemon oils, you are in luck if this is the year.
Unique tasting rooms huh.....Artise in Santa Ynez has art galore and a resident artist on site- she paints with must from the barrels- name is Christine. Her work is amazing. Other artists too, and even you can add your own art work. Or play chess!
Sunstone is very nice, on the river, but usually very busy on the weekends. Go very early if you choose this place. Merlot is very good.
Rancho Sisquoc (you can access this from the 101 coming from the north) is very unique, old California Ranchero style, good reds- very relaxed joint. A small funcioning church greets you upon arrival.
Foxen- along the Foxen Canyon wine trail- another busy place- but worth it. I hear they are building a new tasting room, so check this place out before they do- old barn- cool vibe- dogs galore- excellent reds (pricy)- this is the one you'll savour when opening, for bringing back the memories of the visit- trust me lady.
Alma Rosa, in Buellton, on Santa Rosa road. These folks are first class, eco minded before eco was a word. Good taste, good vibes and great wines. Pinot made well here.
Melville- beautiful building- hopefully Elska the manager will be working- thisupcoming weekend they are holding a Pinot symposium(220 people attending)- may not be a great weekend to visit- but maybe so? Excellent reds and whites too, good picnic spot
next to Babcock- Brian Babcock is god to some with his Pinots and blends.
In Los Olivos- weekends make this place a zoo- so unless you like the zoo, avoid- though early is always better.
Picnic supplies are to be had at El Rancho Market, Los Olivos Grocery (b-l-d here too)
New Frontiers for healthy expensive goods, Nielsens for decent deli.
Cheese- the overlooked Vin Hus in Solvang has tons of great cheese, wines, doodads, and unique european finds. Great coffee and teas too.
Have a great visit- sounds like you have quite the trip planned if all your postings are for one trip. Please report back- I trust you will.
Don't forget to stop in the town of Los Alamos, which is 15 minutes North of the Valley- several wine tasting rooms (Bedford Thompson-RED, Cold Heaven- Viognier only-and one more that escapes me, plus the antique place has samples now too!), and Cafe Quakenbusch for b-l-snacks- very excellent stop. Friday and Saturday nights American Flatbread opens for restaurant service- during the week they make pies for retail sales only. Excellent vibe, excellent pies (bread is thin as a pices of paper!), $5.00 wine by glass- top of the line local vintners supply this place with goodies- I reccomend this place highly.