I’ve been really lucky to visit many beautiful vineyards and wineries this year; so far, all have been in California. I’ve decided wine travel is the way to go, especially if you’re in California – in most cases the vineyards are not far from the ocean so you get great wine, scenery, and beaches all in one go. It’s my kind of vacation – not to mention the mostly temperate California climate.
In July, I was in Santa Barbara for Fiesta and some wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley. I’d been to several wineries in the Valley on previous trips, but that was before I had developed a sincere interest in delving into the nitty gritty of grapes and viticulture. Like most things in life, I believe you appreciate wine more the more you know about it. All of the things we find intimidating about wine – the fussy sounding tasting notes, swirling the wine in the glasses, sipping and spitting – can be intimidating until you understand why you do it and what those tasting notes refer to.
I’ve learned a lot about wine the past year, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. I’m in no hurry. I only wish I lived a bit closer to a viticulture region.
Santa Ynez Valley is a beautiful area (huge compared to Napa Valley); a patchwork of green vineyards, golden grasses, and blue-hued mountains. There’s a strong history of cattle ranching and horses, lending it a very western vibe. Though you’re only thirty minutes to an hour away from sophisticated Santa Barbara, it feels very remote. An agricultural area, it definitely is not short on delicious cuisine and chic boutiques. And of course tasting rooms, each reflecting the personality of the owner.
I’ll be writing more about the wineries and tasting rooms I visited in Santa Barbara County in some upcoming articles both here and on other sites I write for. If you’d like to read articles I write for other websites, check my writing page. I update it as new content is published.
Where is your favorite tasting room?