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5 Delightful Wine Tasting Rooms In California’s Santa Ynez Valley

BY WENDY HUNG

Stolpman Vineyards santa ynez valley g2g

Photo: Facebook/Stolpman Vineyards

In a few months, I’ll be joining my friends from Paris on a road trip along the California coast. There’s one place in the great golden state that I’m adamant about securing on the itinerary.

An hour north of Santa Barbara is a hidden gem particularly exciting for winos: Santa Ynez Valley. Rustic, charming, incredibly friendly…it’s where I solo-travel to for peace and say hello to local friends who own vineyards and quaint boutiques.

SEE ALSO: How A Wine Country Photographer Caught National Geographic’s Attention

This list is a little bit of everything: a touch of Hollywood, family business, a Santa Ynez Valley oldie and my favorite vineyard for an outstanding Syrah. (Pete Stolpman- I’m saving my a few bottles in a cave because they’re too good to be true.) If you find yourself heading to this gorgeous valley, be sure to sip and relax at these lovely wine spots.

1. Stolpman Vineyards

map stolpman vineyard santa ynez valley2434 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441, United States (map, website)

If you love a good bottle of Sangiovese and a powerful Syrah, then Stolpman tasting room should be your first stop in the valley’s Los Olivos. 20 years ago, attorney Thomas Stolpman came across a piece of unique Limestone outcropping land in the California Central Coast which was perfect to grow Syrah and Roussanne grapes. This will probably be one of the best Sangioveses you’ll ever taste, the best part about it is that Stolpman focuses on natural winemaking process that emphasizes on natural and sustainable farming.

Gettin' dirty w/La Cuadrilla 2013 -#limestone #dirt #sustainableemployment #ballardcanyon

A post shared by Stolpman Vineyards (@stolpmanvineyards) on

Courtesy: Instagram

2. Casa Dumetz

map casa dumetz wines santa ynez valley388 Bell St, Los Alamos, CA 93440, United States (map, website)

Started by actor Emilio Estevez (The Breakfast Club…yes please!) and his wife Sonja Magdevski, Casa Dumetz Wines makes fantatic Viognier and Grenache Gris that are captivating the attention of those who know (or, drink) best. Because of Sonja’s charisma, this wine bar oozes the kind of girl power a traveler can’t even find in Napa Valley. On this year’s International Day, Casa Dumetz celebrated the theem #MakeItHappen by opening bottles made by the matriarch of the vineyard. We love good wines, but we also love the great spirit behind them too!

Courtesy: Instagram

3. Andrew Murray Wine & Visitors Center

map andrew murray wine santa ynez valleyFoxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos, CA 93441, United States (map, website)

For fans of Rhône wines, you’ll love this! Coming from a family-owned winery, Andrew Murray often traveled with his family to France’s Rhône Valley wine region as a teenager. Today, the vineyard is recognized for its Rhône varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Grenache blanc. Years ago, Murray bought the the property previously owned by the Firestone family in Los Olivos and transformed it into a hit.

The newly renovated wine & visitors center is located minutes away from charming downtown Los Olivos, and sits at the entrance of the famous Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.

Courtesy: Instagram

4. Gainey Winery

map gainey winery santa ynez valley3950 East Highway 246, Santa Ynez, CA 93460, United States (map, website)

As one of the oldest vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley, Gainey Vineyard is not only picturesque and easy to find. No, it’s not exactly a tasting room, what this list was meant to highlight, but Gainey is the venue for numerous concerts and weddings that we couldn’t leave it out. In recent years, it’s made a huge effort to focus on quality and relevant wines. Check out its lineup of all sorts of crafted wine wines that include anything from Merlot to Riesling. If you’re traveling with a group of friends with different tastes, Gainey’s wide variety of bottles will please anyone and everyone.

Courtesy: YouTube

5. Hudson Bellamy Wines

map hudson bellamy wine santa ynez valley1880 Union Hotel. 362 Bell St. Los Alamos, CA 93440 (map, website)

Santa Ynez Valley is quietly star-studded with plenty of celebrities joining the winemaking business. Fergie, Fess Parker, now Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy are part of the vino gang. Hudson Bellamy Wines’ tasting room is located at 1880 Union Hotel in Los Alamos – where Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson shot their music videos. Besides wine tasting, you’re also surrounded by music history!

Try Que Syrah Syrah, a rosé made with Santa Barbara County fruit and A Little Time which is a Sauvignon Blanc that is aromatic of honeydew melon and white flowers. Sales of the wines go to the Hawn Foundation, which was set up by Hudson’s mother Goldie Hawn that focuses on curriculum and training program based on neuroscience, positive psychology, mindful awareness training and social and emotional literacy. Another charity the winery donates to is War Child which provides children and their families with education, opportunity and justice.

Reliving one of our favorite weekend jaunts! #losalamos @winesaloon @1880union #hbwines

A post shared by HudsonBellamy (@hudsonbellamywines) on

Courtesy: Instagram

Have you ever wine tasted in Santa Ynez Valley? What’s your favorite winery? Let us know in the comments.

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Categories: Foodies, It List

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