Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez

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Sunstone Vineyards

Image by nicadlr via Flickr

by Robert P. Farmer

Sunstone Winery & Vineyards

With its picturesque setting overlooking the Santa Ynez River and mountainous backdrop, Sunstone feels like a bit of Provence in Santa Barbara County. The winery's reputation for big, beautiful reds doesn't hurt the illusion, either. The award-winning lineup of fully organic wines includes wonderful reserve Pinot Noir and Syrah.

The grounds feature sprawling picnic grounds and vine-covered walls. It's a slice of French Countryside life, without all the fussiness. The tasting room is welcoming and the unpretentious staff is eager to discuss the day's pouring, or the weather, or most anything at all.

Tasting fee: $10
Tasting room open daily: 10am-4pm
125 Refugio Road, Santa Ynez, CA
(805) 688-9463
Kalyra Winery

Not far from Sunstone, where one is reminded of the French countryside, you'll find a stark reminder of Australian wines. That's thanks to Kalyra's Australian-born winemaker-owner Mike Brown, who has been producing excellent wine in Santa Barbara but with a pronounced accent from Down Under. That is to say, he's fashioned a reputation for making wines typical of their terrior, but also that reflect his penchant for pushing boundaries, for being bold. In addition to sauvignon blanc and chardonnay with the Kalyra label, the winery offers interesting selections under the Brown label, including bold blends of California and Australian varietals. The tasting room, with its casual, fun atmosphere and great views of the valley, is the perfect place to sip and, in the true Aussie tradition, to bravely explore. 

Tasting room open daily, 10am-5pm
343 North Refugio Road, Santa Ynez, CA
(805) 693-8864

Gainey Vineyards

Very popular for its picnic grounds, which afford beautiful valley views, Gainey is one of the best Santa Ynez wineries for getting a glimpse of the winemaking process. The demonstration vineyard, adjacent to the expansive tasting room, gives guests a look at the vineyard-to-bottle process. In addition to great Pinot Noirs and Syrahs, the winery offers an excellent Riesling and a tough-to-get limited-run Chardonnay that alone makes the destination to Gainey worthwhile. The winery also offers occasional concerts outdoors and hosts a series of popular food-and-wine themed events.

Tasting fee: $10
Tasting room open daily, 10am-4pm
3950 East Hwy 246, Santa Ynez, CA
(805) 688-0558,

CLICK HERE for other Santa Ynez Wineries or

CLICK HERE for full Santa Ynez Wine Country Mini Guide

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What a fabulous preview,seems as if the holiday is approaching.Want to know more info about winemaker,want to know more success story on winemaker.

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