One of my favorite things to do is explore the state I live in. I love traveling all over the world, but sometimes, some of the most beautiful and inspiring places are in your own backyard. Last weekend three girlfriends and I decided to take a weekend trip up to Santa Barbara Wine Country. Located only 2 hours outside of Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara Wine Country, also known as the Santa Ynez Valley, is a beautifully serene paradise of vineyard after vineyard. My friends and I had an awesome time and packed in a ton of fun adventures – we went wine tasting, ate at local eateries, went horseback riding and rode bikes. Santa Ynez is a perfect place for a quick and easy weekend getaway.
Below is a list of some of my favorite wineries in Santa Barbara Wine Country that shouldn’t be missed when visiting.
5000 Zaca Station Road Los Olivos ,CA 93441
Firestone Vineyard was founded by members of the well known Firestone family in 1972, as Santa Barbara County’s first estate winery. The winery is located in the heart of the rural Santa Ynez Valley near the town of Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County. It includes a barrel cellar, fermentation cellar, crush pad, tasting room and bottling line for full production from the vine to the bottle.
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard
6200 Foxen Canyon Rd. Los Olivos, CA 93441
Driving north along the pastoral Foxen Canyon Wine Trail feels like traveling back to California’s early days. Rolling hills frame vast meadows, deer and wildlife roam free, and pristine landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see. This peaceful environment enticed the late Fess Parker into buying a 714-acre ranch back in 1988. The Texas-born actor, who played the television roles of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and 1960s, created the winery and vineyard in result of his passion for wine.
Demetria Estate Winery
6701 Foxen Canyon Road
Los Olivos, CA 93441
When I arrived at the Demetria Estate Winery, I was convinced we were no longer in California. This gorgeous winery transported me to a villa in Tuscany with sweeping views of the vine-covered hills and an outdoor tasting area where visitors are encouraged to linger, sip wine, and soak up the beautiful scenery.
Demetria Estate Winery is a hidden gem tucked off the beaten path above Foxen Canyon. A visit to the tasting room requires a reservation, 2 gate codes, and a 2 mile or so drive down a narrow, winding road with vineyards on both sides.
Bridlewood Estate Wines
3555 Roblar Ave Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Bridlewood Winery is a must-see when visiting the Santa Ynez Valley. A destination all its own, Bridlewood blends a modern, artisan winery with rustic, Spanish-styled architecture reminiscent of California’s historic missions. Behind the mission-style façade lies an intimate winery – an artist’s workshop – where David Hopkins, winemaker, and a team of enologists and winemakers craft Bridlewood‘s artisan wines. They spend much of their time in the barrel room, tasting different vineyard lots and blending them together to create exquisitely balanced wines that embody the unique terroir of the Central Coast.