Santa Barbara winery recommendations appreciated

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Santa Barbara winery recommendations appreciated

Postby jfoobar » Tue Jul 25, 2006 12:28 am

I will be in SB for a wedding this coming weekend and will have one day, probably a Monday or a Tuesday, to do some of the "wine thing." I will have people with me who will likely tire of a marathon winery day so I am looking to find 4-5 solid wineries and see a little scenery just to at least partially check the wine box while there.

I am looking non-pretentious places that offer reasonably-priced tastings. I'd say my tasts run towards whites and reds that are not overly-extracted or oaked, such as Pinots without too much testosterone. It is not crucial that I sample the "best" 4-5 wineries, just some that are a nice representation of the area where we can try/buy some nice wines at decent prices.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Santa Barbara winery recommendations appreciated

Postby John Tomasso » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:00 am

To get the most bang for your buck, head up the San Marcos Pass (Hwy 154) out of Santa Barbara and follow it to Los Olivos. The ride will take you about 40 minutes if you take your time, and offers stunning views.

Once in Los Olivos, you will have your choice of several tasting rooms and two wine stores, both of which offer tastings. There's Los Olivos Cafe, which has a tasting bar, and Wine Country, located off the main strip, down the block with the flagpole, which also always has some interesting stuff out on the bar to taste.

For individual winery tasting rooms, I would recommend Longoria for sure - he's a solid producer who flys mostly under the radar. There's a small place called Carhartt, and they offer a suprisingly good Merlot. Some of the other places in town, like Andrew Murray and Tensley, might be more testosterone laden than you want, but walk around and you'll surely find more than enough wines to enjoy.

Cross over Hwy 154 and hit Brander, or follow the signs for Beckmen, where they are producing some fine wines - be sure to try the Grenache.
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