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Wineries

Welcome to Santa Barbara Wine Country, home of the movie Sideways . Currently there are over two hundred wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms in the county and the number grows each month.

There are several different types of businesses operating under the umbrella of wineries. Some do everything from growing the grapes to throwing the festivals.

The list below features wineries that have their own tasting room. We have visited each one hyperlinked personally and we have shared with you our perception, directions and recommendations. Our page also provides a link to their website in case you want to learn more about them.

At the very bottom of the list we also highlight some excellent wineries that have chosen not to taste but you can find at many local tasting rooms that are part of wine retail establishments.

Buellton

Lompoc

Los Alamos

Los Olivos

Santa Barbara

Santa Maria


Santa Ynez

Solvang

Wineries tasted in retail tasting rooms

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars
  • Au Bon Climate/Cold Heaven
  • Brophy Clark Cellars
  • Calle Cielo Cellars
  • Clos Pepe
  • Fiddlehead (Emporium)
  • Lane Tanner
  • McKeon-Phillips (Wine Country)
  • Morovino (Wine Country)
  • Presidio Winery (Wine Country)
  • Qupe (Los Olivos Tasting Room and Wine Shop)
  • Stolpman Vineyards (Wine Time)
  • Vandale Vineyards
  • Verdad (Los Olivos Tasting Room and Wine Shop)
  • Whitcraft (Emporium)
  • Windward Vineyards (Stearns Wharf)
Sanford Winery
5010 Santa Rosa Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: 1-800-426-WINE
Phone: 1-805-735-5900
www.SanfordWinery.com

Hours:
Monday–Thursday 11am– 4pm
Friday-Sunday 10am-5pm
Open daily except a few holidays.

Sanford Winery welcomes you to our new tasting room adjacent to our beautiful stone and adobe winery and estate vineyards at Rancho La Rinconada. The new tasting room, in the heart of Santa Barbara County's Santa Rita Hills, provides visitors with a complete winery experience, all in one location, including tours of the winery and vineyards, a tasting room and wine retail sales. Our spacious front and back covered terraces can accommodate groups and special events, offering 360-degree views of the winery and vineyards. Please contact our special events team for further details on scheduling group events.

The tasting room is a two-story structure built, in large part, from recycled materials, including salvaged lumber from a barn in Washington State. These timbers were also used to build Sanford's acclaimed Rancho La Rinconada winery. Its façade consists of native California stone at its base and more than 15,000 handmade adobe bricks on exterior walls, the same bricks used for the La Rinconada winery, which Wine & Spirits magazine cited as one of the top examples of winery architectural design in the U.S. in 2006.

Lafond Winery & Vineyards

6855 Santa Rosa Road
Buellton, CA 93427
805-688-7921
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $5, with logo glass

Just a mile and a half past Sanford Wineries, Lafond Winery has been in operation since 1996. The tasting room, however, is relatively new so they might not be on all of the wine tasting maps.

Lafond (of the Pierre Lafond Bakery fame, amongst other things) has created a dream come true in the tasting room, which is spacious and provides a wonderful view of the mountains. It also offers a peek into the cavernous aging room where rows of barrels give off an extra ambience so you know for sure that you are in a winery.

Lafond is well known for their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. They are a sister winery to Santa Barbara Wineries and they do offer selections.

We had the opportunity to sample their 1998 Chardonnay, which was awarded a 93 out of 100 by Connoisseur's Guide. It was wonderfully buttery and very good.

Babcock Vineyards
5175 Hwy. 246
Lompoc, CA.
(805) 736 1455
Tasting: 10:30-4 Fri-Sun
Midweek by appointment
Fee: $5
Prices: $12.50 - $40
Wine Club Available

In the twenty years (give or take) since Babcock Winery began, it has grown from 25 to 80 acres, producing 20,000 cases a year. They create a broad spectrum of high-quality wines using their Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Syrah grapes.

Winemaker Bryan Babcock was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the "Ten Best Winemakers of the Year," he was also named by this influential daily as "Most Courageous Winemaker of the Year" for his daring style.

Melville Vineyards
5185 East Hwy 246
Lompoc, CA 93436
Tel : 805-735-7030
Tasting: Open 7 Days 11am - 4 pm
Closed on major holidays

This beautiful winery is very young, even by Santa Barbara standards. They produce between 1,500 and 5,000 cases annually. Currently, they have 82 acres planted with 150,000 vines of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and two Rhone varietals, Syrah and Viognier. Pinot Noir and Northern Rhone Syrah will be their primary focus. They supply most of their grapes to local wineries.

Bedford Thompson Winery & Vineyard
Downtown Los Alamos
Los Alamos, CA.
(805) 344 2107
Tasting: 10-5 pm

Established in 1993, the winery is located next to 42 acres of estate vines in the hills of the Los Alamos Valley. The Vineyard was first planted in 1990 by David Thompson to Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Franc. In 1996 and a small amount of Grenache, Mouvedre, Petite Sirah and Pinot Gris was added.

The winery is probably best known for its distinctive Syrah. They produce a broad array of wines, however, and their wonderful tasting room really calls you to linger.

They're part of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.

Chimère
217 N. Russell
Santa Maria, CA.
(805) 922 9097
Tasting: 11-4 Fri - Mon

Although this winery is just over a decade old, it has developed an excellent reputation.

Okay, we can say a lot of mushy things about awards and ratings, but let's cut to the chase. Their Pinot Noir is fabulous. Their other wines are great and actually win more awards but the Pinot has us hooked. We discovered it at the Stearns Wharf Tasting Room. This made us track this winery to its source! If you can find this wine, try it!

Of the 4,200 cases produced annually, you will find Chardonnay, unfiltered Pinot Noir, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Pinot Blanc and soon to be released, Port.

Directions:
Take the 101 to Los Alamos (Route 135) and turn east. It's in the center of Historic Los Alamos.

Andrew Murray
2901-A Grand Ave,
Los Olivos, CA.
(805) 686 9604
Tasting: 11-6 daily April - October
Closed Tuesdays
Fee: $4.00
$12 - $32 per bottle
Wine Club Available

An exclusively Rhone estate, Andrew Murray is well known for their unique blends of Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache and Mourvedre. The Wine Spectator listed their 99 Enchante the best white California Rhone. They produce only 5,000 - 7,000 cases each year mostly in small 700 - 2,000 case lots.

The day we visited their tasting room they were tasting four wines - a 99 Voignier, 99 Enchante, 99 Syrah "Tours de Jours", and 99 Esperance.

All four were very good, with the Esperance being the most impressive. It had a wonderful spiciness that would allow it to stand up to foods like lamb.

From Santa Barbara:
Take Highway 101N and take the 154 exit just past Buellton. When you reach Los Olivos, turn right onto Grand Avenue. The Winery Tasting Room will be on the right.

Arthur Earl
2921 Grand Ave.
Los Olivos, CA.
(800) 646 EARL
Tasting: 11-6 daily
Fee: $4 includes logo glass
$10 - $20 per bottle
Wine Club Available

This small winery produces less than 2500 cases of wines with an emphasis on varieties traditional to the Rhone and Piemonte, including Roussanne, Syrah, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo and more.

The tasting room staff told us that the wine list changes often so we shouldn't hold them to it. The wines are produced in very small lots - usually less than 300 cases. This gives them a very broad selection of wines.

We found three of the six wines sampled that day to be excellent - the Grenache (at $18/bottle a good deal) and the Nebbiolo, which was very 'drinkable' and the Mourvedre, which was a very solid, well balanced wine. The other three were actually marked v.v. good on our tasting notes rather than excellent. I guess that says something about the winery!

From Santa Barbara:
Take Highway 101N and take the 154 exit just past Buellton. When you reach Los Olivos, turn right onto Grand Avenue. The Winery Tasting Room will be on the right.

Brander Vineyard
Domaine Santa Barbara
Hwy. 154 at Roblar
Los Olivos, CA.
(805) 688 2455
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $3.50 includes glass
Prices: $11 - $40
Wine Club Discounts
Tours by appointment

Their brochure says, "A visit to The Brander Vineyard is somewhat like visiting a small wine estate in Europe," and they're not kidding. This was a wonderful surprise and a definite 'must see' among the wineries. They are not on the nearby Santa Ynez Trail, but are worth adding on your own.

The tasting room and surrounding grounds were quite beautiful and really do take you out of Southern California! We found the staff to be helpful and well informed. We walked away from this vineyard quite impressed!

The tasting room boasts two labels, which are actually quite different from each other.

Domaine Santa Barbara was established in 1993 to produce Burgundian varietals wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir (v.v.good, by the way!).

The Brander label is mainly Bordeaux varietals, specializing in world class Sauvignon Blanc in a variety of styles. Although they are best known for the Sauvignon Blanc, they also produce Merlot and Sangiovese (also v. v. good).

They produce a total of 8,000 cases each year on 43 acres. The lots for each label are small and tend to run out early. This is one of those wineries where the wine club comes in handy!

Directions:
Take the 101N to 154 and drive until you reach Roblar. Turn left and follow the signs to Brander's Vineyard. It is well marked.

Curtis Winery
5249 Foxen Canyon Rd.
Los Olivos, CA.
(805) 686 8999
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $6 (includes glass)
Prices: $12 - $35
Large groups by appointment only.
Wine Club Available

This wonderful boutique winery features Rhône-style wines. Since they produce only 5,000 cases each year, production is limited, with a focus on small lots of Syrah and Viognier.

They are a sister winery to Firestone but their production is much smaller and more specialized. They have an excellent (and well deserved) reputation for their Syrah.

When we visited their winery, we were struck by how well-informed their staff was and the attention they paid to each guest. The picnic facilities are lovely and offer abundant shade for those hot summer afternoons the Santa Ynez Valley is famous for.

Directions:
From Highway 101 (both northbound and southbound), take the Zaca Station Road/Highway 154 exit located seven miles north of Buellton. Head east at the stop sign. The road dips and curves southward. Take an immediate left onto Zaca Station Road and continue for 2.5 miles: Curtis Winery is located on your left, 1/4 mile past Firestone Vineyard.

Fess Parker Winery
6200 Foxen Cyn. Rd.
Los Olivos, CA.
(805) 688 1545
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $8
Picnic Facilities
Wine Club Available

Although Fess Parker began his career as a well-known actor, he has since become a very successful businessman in Santa Barbara county. The winery and vineyard are possibly the most accessible and beautiful of his many ventures and well worth the visit.

The wines are range from very good to excellent. Since 1989 Parker wines have won more than 30 medals in national competitions.

The Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah have proven to be particularly popular with the critics. In addition, Parker produces White Riesling and Muscat Canelli (which is rumored to be quite excellent this year), and has a reserve program for Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir.

They have four vineyards that occupy 700 acres. Their total production is about 50,000 cases a year, which makes them one of the larger wineries in the county. The tasting room is one of the eleven wineries on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. The large lawn and veranda make it well suited for picnics and lingering.

Directions:
From Santa Barbara, take the 101N through Buellton. Approximately 5 miles north of Buellton, take the Highway 154 off-ramp and turn right. Proceed 50 yards to Zaca Station Rd. and turn left. Follow Zaca Station for 5 miles and the winery entrance is on the right.

Firestone Vineyard
5017 Zaca Station Rd.
Los Olivos, CA.
(805) 688 3940
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $5 - $7.50
Prices:$7 - $30
Tours: 10:15 - 3:15 p.m.
Wine Club Available
Picnic facilities with a great view!
Events welcome.

With almost 30 years of winemaking and the double distinction of being the county's first estate winery and the largest at 250,000 cases annually.

The facilities are impressive here, as you would expect from such a large winery. The staff was well informed and very helpful.

Also, as you would expect, Firestone produces a wide variety of wines from Bordeaux-style blends to late harvest Rieslings. Of course their Chardonnay is a classic! They have a wider price point than other local wineries and if you love a wine you have a good chance of being able to find it.

Directions:
From the 101N, go 5 miles past the city of Buellton and exit on 154. Take the first left onto Zaca Station Road. Proceed 1.5 miles and turn left into the Firestone Vineyard gate.

Daniel Gehrs Wines
2939 Grand Avenue
Los Olivos, CA
800-275-8138
Tasting: 11 - 6 p.m.
Fee: $4
Prices: $15-25
Wine Club Available

With a production of close to 7,500 cases a year and a commitment to small lots of high quality wines, this is a wonderful winery to follow.

The list of wines produced is truly amazing. You can get your wine just about any way that you want it here with choices ranging from Pinot Blanc to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay to Syrah, Gewurztraminer to Merlot, Cabernet Franc to Voignier and several blended wines.

Small lots give the winemaker (who has over 25 years of experience) the chance to produce a wide variety of wines and take chances other wineries wouldn't be able to take.

The tasting room itself is also a gift shop and has a veranda out back that feels private and relaxing. This is a very tempting place to linger!

Directions:
From the 101 take the 154 exit north of Buellton. You will come to Grand Avenue in Los Olivos. Turn right. The tasting room is on the right.

Kahn Winery
2990 Grand Avenue
Los Olivos, CA
805-686-2455
hours: Th - Sun 12-6 p.m.

The Kahn Winery was founded in 1996 to produce premium wines in Santa Barbara County. The winery is the dream of Andrew Kahn, who was the assistant winemaker for the Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos. Andrew teamed up with his partner, Christian Garvin, and together they began to make limited quantities of eclectic varietals such as Syrah, Nebbiolo, Grignolino, and Viognier.

In addition to winemaking, the Kahn Winery also operates Kahn Farming , an independent vineyard management and development company. Specializing in small to midsized vineyards, Kahn Farming currently manages over 70 acres of prime vineyards, having installed about 40 additional acres in 2000. This unique relationship allows the Kahn Winery to obtain premium fruit grown to the winemaker's specifications without actually owning the land.

Rancho Sisquoc Winery
6600 Foxen Cyn. Rd.
Santa Maria, CA.
(805) 934 4332
Tasting: 10-4 daily
Prices: #12 - $30
Wine Club Available

Purchased originally in 1952 as a ranch, the initial planting in 1968 consisted of nine acres of Johannesburg Riesling and four acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. In 1972, then ranch manager Harold Pfeiffer produced the first wines. "The reason I started making wine was to show what you could do with the grapes. Of course I didn't know what I was doing," he says. They currently have 320 acres planted with plans for more.

1819 Ballard Cyn Rd.
Solvang, CA.
(805) 688 1278
Tasting: 11-5 daily
Winter hours may vary

Rusack Vineyards, located in picturesque Ballard Canyon, is a charming boutique winery producing about 5000 cases per year. Geoff and Alison Rusack established the vineyard in 1995 and it covers 48 acres, 37 of which are planted in Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Muscat Canelli, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah.

Currently they offer a Pinot Noir and three red Bordeaux varietals. Also available are Burgundian-style Chardonnays and Rieslings and Muscat Canellis. New offerings include the Santa Ynez Valley Rhone varietals Viognier and Syrah - ready to be bottled shortly.

Directions: Take the 101 to Buellton. Exit onto Highway 246 and head East. Drive about 1 mile and turn left onto Ballard Canyon Road. The Vineyard is located about 4 miles up on the left.

Zaca Mesa Winery
6905 Foxen Cny. Rd.
Los Olivos, CA.
(800) 350 7972
Tasting: 10-4 daily
Prices $9 - $20
Wine Club Available
Picnic Area

This is a winery with a sense of humor and a zeal for fun. Their wines are really good, too.

In fact, they are an award winning winery known for their Syrah, Chardonnay, Z Cuvée and Z Gris. Established in 1978, this 246 acre vineyard has been garnering recognition.

The 1993 Zaca Vineyards Syrah placed sixth in the world in Wine Spectator's "Top 100 Wines of 1995" This was the first American Syrah to be blended with the exotic white grape, Viognier.

Directions:
Take the 101N 5 miles past Buellton to Hwy 154. Turn left onto Zaca Station Road and follow it for about 9 miles. The tasting room is on your left.

Byron Winery
We offer tours and tasting by appointment only.
Please call 1.805.934.4770 extension 11 to make advanced reservations.
(805) 937 7288
Tasting: 10-4 daily Nov- Mar; then 10-5 daily

Byron Vineyard and Winery was founded in 1984 by winemaker Ken Brown. With years of experience as a winemaker in Santa Barbara County, Ken recognized the region's potential for great wines in the Burgundian style, and was the first winemaker to introduce Rhone-style grape varieties to the area. The first crush at Byron Vineyard & Winery produced 7,600 cases, and Byron soon gained national recognition for high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

In 1990, the Robert Mondavi family purchased Byron, and Ken Brown became Winemaker and General Manager. He and Tim Mondavi, Robert's son, set about designing the new Byron Winery as an expression of their shared belief in natural farming, experimental viticulture and gentle grape handling. They wanted to eliminate pumping, which shears grape stems, skin and seeds, allows tannins and other harsh elements into the juice and can make wine bitter.

Directions
From north or south, take Highway 101 to Santa Maria. Take the Betteravia Road exit and head east. Continue on Betteravia for about 6 miles, then take the left fork and follow Santa Maria Mesa Road for about 5 miles. Bear left on Tepusquet Road. Byron is located about 1/4 mile up the road on the right.

Cambria Winery
5475 Chardonnary Ln.
Santa Maria, CA.
(805) 937 8091
Tasting: 10-5 Sat & Sun

Seventeen miles from the Pacific Ocean, on the Santa Maria Bench, Cambria's gently sloped vineyards enjoy a cool, fog-laden climate and well-drained soils that create wines of exceptional character. Cambria's lush, tropical Chardonnays, velvety-textured Pinot Noirs and rich Syrahs have garnered international acclaim.

Directions
From north or south, take Highway 101 to Santa Maria. Take the Betteravia Road exit and head east. Continue on Betteravia for about 6 miles, then take the left fork and follow Santa Maria Mesa Road for about 5 miles. Bear left on Tepusquet Road. Byron is located about 1/4 mile up the road on the right.

Cottonwood Canyon
3940 Dominion Rd.
Santa Maria, CA.
805 - 937 9063
  • Open daily from 10 am - 5:30 pm (Oct - March) and 10 am - 6:00 pm (April - Sept)
  • Friday Night "Wine" Down April - Sept We are open 10 am - 8 pm every Friday
  • Tasting Fees: $5.00 for a sampling of Reserve Wines, $7.00 for a sampling
    of our Library Wines, $10.00 for a Cave Tour, Barrel Sampling and a sampling of Reserve Wines.
  • Prices on Wines by the Bottle: $16.00 - $70.00
    All wines also available by the glass - prices vary.

Cottonwood Canyon is an interesting vineyard. They produce anywhere from 4,000 - 7,000 cases a year yet they have a large tasting room with a fabulous view - all of which you would expect from a much larger winery.

While we were there we were particularly impressed with the 96 Estate Pinot Noir from Sharon's Vineyard. It was a complex wine that had a range of flavors from smoky to cherry.

Cottonwood is unique in it has wine caves, which are underground tunnels that provide the ultimate conditions for aging wines. The naturally cool temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit and 90%+ humidity reduce wine evaporation and lower alcohol levels. Inside the caves they age their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux blends in French and American oak barrels.

Since they are open later than most of the other tasting rooms, they are a popular 'last stop' on many wine tours.

Directions:
From the 101 take the Clark Avenue Exit and turn east (a right turn). At Dominion Road turn LEFT. Proceed about 1 1/2 miles to the winery entrance on the right side of the road.

Foxen Vineyard
7200 Foxen Cyn. Rd.
Santa Maria, CA.
(805) 937 4251
Tasting: 12-4 Fri-Mon
Fee: $4
Prices: $20 - $35 per bottle

The rustic setting and tasting room lend themselves to the unique charm of this vineyard.

Don't let that fool you, though. This vineyard produces 12,000 cases of wine a year, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.

Directions: Take the 101N to Alisos Canyon Road. At the end of that road turn left onto Foxen Canyon Road. The winery is about 4 miles down on the right. It is easy to miss but when you see a white house with a picket fence on the left, the tasting room is right there on the right.

Bridlewood Winery
3555 Roblar Ave.
Santa Ynez, CA.
(805) 688 2443
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $5
Prices: $12 - $20
Wine Club Available
Large groups by appointment only

Bridlewood is a lovely winery that produces a broad range of award-winning wines including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Arabesque (a proprietary Rhone-style blend), Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, Bridlewood has other small production lots of popular wines only available through the Tasting Room or Web Site.

Although you might think their wines are very 'up market' they are quite reasonable and rank as some of the best bargains on the central coast.

Directions:
Take the 101N to 154 and drive until you reach Roblar. Turn left and follow the signs to Briddlewood Vineyard. It is well marked and there is ample parkinig.

M Brown/Kalyra Winery
343 N.Refugio Rd
Santa Ynez
CA 93460
phone: (805) 693-8864
fax: (805) 693-8865
Winter Hours:
11am - 4pm Monday - Thursday
11am - 5pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Private Tastings available for groups of 10 or more. Please call ahead.

Billed as a "small winery with a big personality," this winery lives up to its reputation. It is very fun and blends California and Australian sensibilities. This winery was featured in the movie "Sideways."

On a practical side, this winery has a healthy variety of well-received wines in a broad range of prices to suit almost anybody's palette and wallet.

Gainey Vineyard
3950 E. Hwy. 246
Santa Ynez, CA.
(805) 688 0558
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $5 includes glass
Picnic area
Special Events
Tours: 11am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Reservations are required only for groups of 10 or more.

Gainey Vineyard is a wonderful place to visit - not only is it relatively close to Santa Barbara, but the wines are wonderful, the tasting room is well-designed, the picnic area is large and well-groomed and the staff is well-informed. It is a popular destination for many of the wine country tours because of its spacious tasting room and gorgeous picnic area.

The Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay consistently shine. Over the years they have won numerous awards. With most prices between $12 and $25 they are an excellent value.

Blackjack Ranch Winery
2205 Alamo Pintado Rd.
Solvang, CA.
(805) 686-9922
Tasting Room Hours
Fri - Sun 11:00-5:00
Fee:
Bottle Prices:

Buttonwood Winery
1500 Alamo Pintado Rd.
Solvang, CA.
(805) 688 3032
Tasting: 11-5 daily
Fee: $ 5 . 0 0 (includes glass)
Bottles: $10 - $30
Picnic Grounds

This small winery is in the heart of the Santa Ynez Trail. They bottle just 5,000 cases each year in a mixture of varietals - sauvignon blanc, semillon, marsanne, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and syrah. Owners Betty Williams and her son-in-law, Bret Davenport, had a definite preference for Bordeaux and Rhone style wines. Winemaker Michael Brown also offers a few bottles under his Kalyra label, which is consistently well regarded. The 99 Orange Muscat is featured in the tasting room and is quite good (and we took a bottle with us!)

During our tasting visit, it was very clear that this winery shines when it comes to their reds. The 97 Cabernet Sauvignon recently won a Gold Medal in the New World International Wine Competition and at $18/bottle it's an incredible bargain. Their 96 Trevin also won a Gold Medal and was also quite excellent. The tasting room features the normal assortment of wine gadgets, as well as wonderful paintings of local artists.

Directions: Take the 101 to the heart of Buellton. Take the 246 towards Solvang.

Buttonwood Winery
1500 Alamo Pintado Rd.
Solvang, CA.
(805) 688 3032
Tasting: 11-5 daily
Fee: $ 5 . 0 0 (includes glass)
Bottles: $10 - $30
Picnic Grounds

This small winery is in the heart of the Santa Ynez Trail. They bottle just 5,000 cases each year in a mixture of varietals - sauvignon blanc, semillon, marsanne, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and syrah. Owners Betty Williams and her son-in-law, Bret Davenport, had a definite preference for Bordeaux and Rhone style wines. Winemaker Michael Brown also offers a few bottles under his Kalyra label, which is consistently well regarded. The 99 Orange Muscat is featured in the tasting room and is quite good (and we took a bottle with us!)

During our tasting visit, it was very clear that this winery shines when it comes to their reds. The 97 Cabernet Sauvignon recently won a Gold Medal in the New World International Wine Competition and at $18/bottle it's an incredible bargain. Their 96 Trevin also won a Gold Medal and was also quite excellent. The tasting room features the normal assortment of wine gadgets, as well as wonderful paintings of local artists.

Directions: Take the 101 to the heart of Buellton. Take the 246 towards Solvang. Drive through Solvang and when you come to Alamo Pintado Road turn left. You won't have to drive very far before you come to the vineyard on your right.

Foley Estates Winery
1711 Alamo Pintado Rd.
Solvang, CA.
(805) 688 8554
Tasting: 10-5 daily
Fee: $3.50 - $5.00 (includes glass)
Prices: $8 - $32
Picnic Veranda - wonderful view

The vineyard itself was founded in 1978, and became Foley Estates Winery in 1997. This was one of the first wineries we visited as we were writing this web site and it remains one of the most memorable.

It has all of the right pieces - helpful, well informed staff, excellent wines, a gorgeous view, enormous barrels and a mid-winery location. There's no wonder that it's a very popular stop for picnics for those on the Santa Ynez Trail.

Directions:
Take the 101 North past Santa Barbara. When you reach Buellton, go RIGHT/EAST on Highway 246. Drive through the main section of Solvang.
Take a LEFT onto Alamo Pintado Road at the edge of town. Follow this road until you see the sign for the winery a few miles up the road. It will be on your LEFT.

Mission Meadow/Plam Vineyards
1659 Copenhagen Drive, Suite A,
Solvang, CA 93463
Hours: 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m
Fee: $4 with souvenir glass
Wine Club Available

This is an extremely new vineyard to our area but promises to be something quite wonderful when they are complete.

The owners recently sold their northern vineyards, but continue to produce under the Plan Vineyards label in Napa Valley. They moved their base of operations to Solvang to open Mission Meadow. Currently, their tasting room is a wonderful storefront in the heart of Solvang.

Mission Meadow/Plam Vineyards
1659 Copenhagen Drive, Suite A,
Solvang, CA 93463
Hours: 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m
Fee: $4 with souvenir glass
Wine Club Available

This is an extremely new vineyard to our area but promises to be something quite wonderful when they are complete.

The owners recently sold their northern vineyards, but continue to produce under the Plan Vineyards label in Napa Valley. They moved their base of operations to Solvang to open Mission Meadow. Currently, their tasting room is a wonderful storefront in the heart of Solvang.

Rideau Vineyard
1562 Alamo Pintado Rd.
Solvang, CA.
(805) 688 0717
Tasting: 11-4:30
Fee:
Picnic Area and Wonderful Veranda

This winery has the most unique ambience of any of the wineries we visited. The Victorian style tasting room, which is an historical landmark, probably had something to do with it.

Rideau produces award winning Rhone-style wines and is best-known for its both its Viognier, which is quite creamy and apple-y and Tempranillo, which is an unusual varietal with both fruit and spice. Their Chateauneuf Cuvee consistently wins awards for the winery, as well, but wasn't available for tasting the day we were there.