A couple weeks ago we decided to take a rare day off from working on the business (and everything else we have going on) and make a quick road trip up to the Santa Barbara area to go wine tasting. After all, Sam had never been wine tasting anywhere before!!
We headed out mid-day from North Orange County after packing up everyone’s orders from the night before. We decided to just cruise and take the scenic route for most of the adventure, so we hoped on Pacific Coast Highway. We made an attempt to stop at the Santa Monica Pier, but an accident was creating some crazy ass traffic, and what we thought was a turn into a parking lot actually dumped us back on to PCH. We figured we weren’t meant to stop and ventured on our way. From then on, the drive was just amazing… basically beaches the entire way.
After driving through Mailibu and fangirling on the amazing houses that are every where, we stopped at our favorite little restaurant for a late lunch. A few months back we randomly discovered this place called OLLO in a strip mall of all places. The pizzas are amazing, the fried zucchini somehow tastes just as good as a mozzarella stick, and the loaded mashed potatoes are just plain heavenly!! They also look like they have amazing cocktails (we haven’t had any since we had long drives both times). And for being in Malibu, it’s pretty decently priced!
From there we continued up Pacific Coast Highway and stopped to take some photos and (safely) play on some train tracks on the beach. If you have the time to drive up the coast, we highly recommend it!
We finally arrived in Santa Barbara and made it to the wharf just in time to see the sunset, so pretty!!
We had a few hours to kill before meeting up with our friend, so we headed down to State Street where just about every bar and restaurant can be found. We stopped in to Patxi’s Pizza for a drink and snack. I make it a point to try to ‘drink local’ when I travel, so Sam and I both tried a local IPA. I’m slowly getting her to love beer! : ) The hummus platter was also incredibly delicious with bread and veggies!
We were hanging out and randomly both put on our Liquid Daydream perfume roller while no one was looking, and quickly after the cute bartender wandered over and said ‘wow is that one of you guys that smells so good’… so it’s highly recommended by cute bartenders, just saying…
Anyway back to the story… we met up with our friend, hungout downtown for a few more hours and called in a night… or morning. For the record, don’t go out the night before wine tasting.
The next morning we headed down the main beach to meet up with our tour bus from Grapeline Wine Tours. It was a Sunday, but we were still surprised to find that we were the only three getting on, and only had to pick up two more! Actually pretty sweet! We headed to Solvang which is actually about 45 minutes from downtown Santa Barbara. Our driver Amy (you should definitely request her!) was awesome from the start making sure we were comfortable and having fun without being annoying and overbearing.
Our first stop in the Santa Ynez Valley was to a small little farm looking winery named Koehler Wines. Unfortunately by this point we were all still slightly asleep and everyone was starving so we didn’t quite get it into gear yet! But they did have some mean emus to look and a friendly farm cat, at so that was fun.
Next up was a cool winery that had a more log cabin/ranch feel, Roblar Winery & Vineyards. We had a super entertaining host named Josh who made us laugh even though we were all distracted eating the free oyster crackers. We were STARVING! Pretty sure we got way more pours here because he was just so nice. We got to choose a wine to eat with our lunch, and when we walked out to the beautiful picnic area, we found that our driver Amy had setup our lunch. We finished off with a dessert port and our cookies and moved on to our next winery. This was also my favorite set of wines of the day.
This third place, Vincent Vineyards was the most ‘corporate’ of all the ones we went to. To me it didn’t have a warm and welcoming feel that most do. It was purchased by a celebrity, and very clean and posh, just missed the mark… didn’t help that I didn’t dig the wines… but they did have delicious truffles!
Our last winery, Lincourt, was a Foley wine owned location. The host wasn’t the happiest person, not sure if he just takes wine too seriously or what, but he DID have an excellent pour trick. We were told by ever one to always swirl before sipping… but this guy taught us to ROLL before sipping! That’s right, he taught us how to tip the glass on it’s side and roll it! Anyway, this also had a farm feel and I loved the Adirondack chairs out front, a nice relaxing way to end the day.
And that was that, we got dropped off back in Santa Barbara, grabbed our stuff and made the trek back home!
There are tons of cute wineries up in the Santa Barbara area, my favorite (from a previous trip) is still Briddlewood, it’s a beautiful location with horses and hills, and I love their wines!