California is a major exporter of the country’s produce, and one of its star products are the wines made here in California, using grapes grown right here. The climate here enables growers to cultivate all sorts of grapes, providing a rich variety of different wines. Being in the heart of Wine Country, you don’t need to look far to find a great winery to visit. Many wineries offer tours that allow a glimpse into the wine-making industry, as well as tastings that let you sample the sweet (or dry) products of their labor. If you love wine, Santa Barbara is the place to be.
Sampling wines close to their source doesn’t require a car trip out to the country — not in Santa Barbara, at least! Downtown hosts most of what is called the Urban Wine Trail. In the area of downtown Santa Barbara called the “Funk Zone,” you’ll find a half-dozen places to try new beverages. Head to Riverbench Wines or Municipal Winemakers for a sample of California’s terroir. Meet up at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective for a sampling of flavors from around the county, or head to Cutler’s Artisan Spirits if you’re in the mood for something stronger than wine. If it all seems like too much to take in, consider visiting “Eat This, Shoot That!” food and wine tours to be guided through downtown’s rich array of gustatory pleasures.
Throughout the County
Sometimes, wine tastes better the closer you are to the vineyards. To get further from the bustle of the city, consider a wine tour. Companies such as Captain Jack’s Tours, Santa Barbara Adventure Company, and Sustainable Vine Wine Tours can take you around the Santa Ynez valley and give you a local perspective on some well-known vintners. Or, you can organize a tour yourself by contacting a winery that interests you. Want to stop by for a tour on a day trip to Solvang? Consider heading north to historic Rideau Vineyard. Do you dream of a private tasting far from the busy highways? Try looking at Lafond Winery. Visiting people in Lompoc? Consider any one of the five wineries along Highway 246 between Buellton and Lompoc. For a thorough list of the many wineries in the county, consider checking out www.sbcountywines.com.
The many different wineries are a testament to the diversity of all Santa Barbara has to offer. Pinot noirs and chardonnays, syrahs, grenaches, and cabernets, it has it all! A trip to Santa Barbara without visiting a winery would be an opportunity sorely missed! Contact us or browse our vacation rentals and Santa Ynez Valley rentals, and book your stay today!