Home California Postcard: Santa Barbara, California Wine Country

Postcard: Santa Barbara, California Wine Country

written by Penny Sadler

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.

Postcard Santa Barbara Califoria Wine Country

Santa Barbara Wine Country

Santa Barbara California Wine Country

Alta Maria tasting room, Santa Ynez

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?

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17 comments

Lillie - @WorldLillie October 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Postcard perfect. Sigh!

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Dan @ A Cruising Couple September 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

We love wine touring as well and have been lucky to visit some amazing wine regions while traveling. You must be having a blast in California! The south of France has been our favorite so far, every house seems to be a tasting room :-p

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Penny Sadler September 26, 2014 at 10:26 pm

South of France looks amazing!

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Mary @ Green Global Travel September 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm

The way you captured the light in the vineyards is beautiful!

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Micki September 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm

That photo of Santa Barbara Wine Country is absolutely gorgeous. I do confess, even after quite a few visits to wineries, I still can’t get on board with spitting the wine out. I understand the reason, but it just seems so very, very wrong.

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Penny Sadler September 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

Haha Micki, spitting out wine does seem wrong, but only the first sip. 🙂 After that you can guzzle it.

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Micamyx|Senyorita September 24, 2014 at 4:34 am

Would love to go there too! Wine lover here 🙂

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Penny Sadler September 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

Great place for tasting a wide variety of premium wines.

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noel September 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm

I love the area down there, wish I had more time to visit some of those wineries and the amazing pinots and merlots down there!

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Penny Sadler September 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm

The Voigniers are really great too. Very popular in that area.

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Valen-This Way Paradise September 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

You’ve made me wish I lived closer to wine country again!

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Wandering Educators September 21, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Looks so beautiful there!

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Penny Sadler September 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Thanks Jessie

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Cat of Sunshine and Siestas September 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I’ve started to become more and more interested in wine since moving to Spain. There are so many small bodegas out here that give personal tours with copious amounts of wine for cheap – my style!

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Penny Sadler September 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Sounds perfect to me!

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Maria Falvey September 18, 2014 at 2:40 am

So surreal to view the vines running up to those mountains – the colors, lines and textures are incredible – love this postcard, it’s going on the fridge for sure!

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Penny Sadler September 18, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Thank you Maria!

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