This past weekend I took a trek up to Santa Barbara for the annual California Wine Festival. My first time visiting Santa Barbara and this picturesque town, and found myself truly exploring the area along State St to the Wharf to the beach front only wishing I had more time, an entire week, to take in all that Santa Barbara truly had to offer.
But, then research began on where to go, what wineries to visit, and what little towns surround Santa Barbara County: Summer in the Vineyards: Santa Barbara
There are various tasting rooms located in the Downtown area of Santa Barbara to partake in:
Corks and Crowns: A fun wine tasting experience recently added to the Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara. This tasting room has a variety of fun events happening throughout the week including:
Sundays: 11:30am: Cupcakes and Sparkling Wine
Thursdays: Pizza Party: 4 to 7pm. Every Thursday, they do fine wine and craft beer pairings with Full of Life Flatbread Gourmet Pizza.
Definitely keep an eye out on their events tabs for various Beer Tastings, Cruises, and Wine Maker dinners being scheduled throughout the year.
Deep Sea Tasting Room: This tasting room located right off the pier of Stearns’ Wharf it is a must stop visit while in Santa Barbara. Although the room is small, the customer service is excellent. 6 tastings for just 10 dollars!
Municipal Winemakers: 22 Anacapa St. Santa Barbara, CA
Mon through Wed: 11am to 6pm
Thurs – Sun: 11am to 11pm
Wine tastings are 12 dollars for 5 tastings.
Santa Barbara Winery: 202 Anacopa St. Santa Barbara, CA
One of the oldest tasting rooms in Downtown Santa Barbara. Very traditional tasting room. During the summer, 6 tastings for 10 dollars. During the off season, 6 tastings for 5 dollars and you get to keep the glass.
Oreana Winery: 205 Anacopa St.
Another popular tasting room in Downtown Santa Barbara is Oreana Winery.
Every Monday night during the summer Oreana has a movie night from 6:30 to 9:30pm, no outside alcohol allowed in, but blankets and folding chairs are allowed. They also provide folding chairs.
The next two Wineries are located next to each other making it very convenient:
Kalyra Winery: 212 State St.
8 tastes for 10 dollars. 6 Wines and 2 Dessert Wines. The owner collects masks from around the world giving it a fun loving vibe once inside.
Giessinger Winery: 210 State St.
This tasting room received the “Best Tasting Room in Santa Barbara” award for 2012 from US Commerce Association. And is located right next door to Kalyra Winery. Stop in for a few tastings then walk along State Street to do a little shopping after.
And right inside the El Paseo Complex:
Grassini Family Vineyards: 813 Anacopa St.
Have a love of Bordeaux wines then this will be your happy place. Their family owned winery is also located within the Santa Ynex Valley Happy Canyon AVA.
Right next door lie two other tasting rooms: Margerum and Au Bon Climat
About a 50 minute drive from Santa Barbara, Solvang was founded in 1911 by a group of adventurous Danish Americans. And to this day Solvang still honors their Danish heritage through their architecture, bakeries, restaurants and events.
Some wineries not to miss in Solvang include:
Take in a bit of Italian heritage with this beautiful tasting room. The tasting room is also an old world marketplace featuring gourmet wine friendly foods, Italian Decor, original paintings and wine inspired fun.
They feature 5 wine tasting lists that vary from 8 to 12 dollars per guest.
Lucas and Lewellen Vineyards:
Winemaker Megan mcGrath Gates crafts more than 20 varietals and blends from the winery’s own Santa Barbara County grapes. This tasting room located in the heart of Downtown Solvang.
Carivintas Winery: 479 First St. Solvang, CA
A fun little winery that welcomes both pets and children inside their relaxed tasting room. This fun winery offers a variety of events throughout the week including:
Tuesdays: Open Mic Night: 5 to 7pm
Come in and showcase your talent and you just may get booked for an upcoming gig.
Thursdays: Teacher Nights
If you’re a teacher, stop in to Carivintas Winery for discounts and fun from 5 to 7pm
Fridays: Movie Nights
Saturdays: Live Music
Wandering Dog: 1539C Mission Drive
CT and Jody
Another popular stop in Solvang is the Wandering Dog. Specializing in Wines, Craft Beers and Gourmet Cheeses.
Thursdays: Blind Tasting Thursdays
4 to 7pm. Every month focuses in on a different region. 15 dollars.
Buttonwood Farm Winery and Vineyard: 1500 Alamo Pintado Road
Daily 11am to 5pm
For those that love to get away then this winery is just for you. The tasting room, sitting in a beautiful cottage is right along a garden amidst a real working farm. As you sip on your wine listen to the farm animals all around you.
And I hear the Sauvignon Blanc is a great option 😉 but you must try them all.
And one other FUN thing to keep in mind in Solvang is this:
Third Wednesdays: Wine Walk
Every Third Wednesday of the month, for 20 dollars(cash only!), enjoy wine tasting while strolling through the village of Solvang. The 20 dollars includes a Solvang Wine Wednesday logo glass, map and tasting at 5 places of your choice.
Carhartt Vineyard: 2990A Grand Ave.
11am to 5pm: Daily Tastings
Rave reviews are coming in for this vineyard on Yelp. Definitely check out the backyard and patio area.
Blair Fox Cellars: 2902 San Marcos Ave.
The tasting fee here is 5 tastings for 12 dollars. And with a name like “Blair Fox” you know the labels on the wine have to be adorable.
Stolpman Vineyards: 2434 Alamo Pintado
August 10th: Dinner int he Vineyard: 4 to 8pm : 150 dollars: Wine Club members: 125 dollars per person.
Join the Stolpman family for a family style dinner under the giant California Oak.
There are many, many more wine tasting rooms and wineries to try out in Los Olivos. What is great about Santa Barbara county is you can pick a town, park your car, and walk around to a variety of tasting rooms throughout the day. Mixed in with cute boutique stores and a nice ambiance to make a truly wonderful vacation.
Disclosure: This is a non-sponsored post. Just educating myself and YOU about the various wine country regions of California.
Visit other regions here: