Santa Barbara Tasting

Wifey and I are headed to SB for a wedding in May. We have a few days to taste and was looking for a few memorable suggestions. Full disclosure: I mostly consume Napa Cab (Smith Pott TRB) and Dont typically drink or buy Burgundy style wines. In saying that, I am going into this with an open mind and would appreciate if you could share some suggestions. Thank you

Do you know if you’ll have time to head up to wine country (about 45 mins from downtown SB)? Or are you staying downtown? Great choices either way, but wine country is really beautiful and fun.

I can swing north to Solvang and Santa Ynez

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If you have time, I would venture up to Los Olivos. Similar to DT SB, all of the tasting rooms are within walking distance from one another. I would check out Barbieri (founded by a Master Somm), Samsara, Brewer Clifton, and Tensley. Within DT SB, I suggest Melville, Grassini, Sanford, Whitcraft, and Santa Barbara Wine Collection to taste Jonata and Hilt.

Foxen has a great lineup.

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For the style you like if you can swing to los olivos I would hit Tensley. Big wines not for everyone but well made wines and good QPR IMO

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As others have said, lots of choices for sure. More than happy to host you at my tasting room in Los Olivos if you have the time. Within 1/4 mile of my space and within walking distance is Dragonette, Stolpman, Larner, Samsara, Andrew Murray, Barbieri, Tensley, Refugio Ranch and a few others. A short drive away will get you to Beckmen, Brander and Rusack. If you drive 15-45 minutes outside of Los Olivos and on the Foxen Canyon Trail you’ll hit Andrew Murray, Fess Parker, Demetria, Zaca Mesa and Foxen.

Let me know if I can help in any way.



I second Larry’s suggestions for Los Olivos and nearby.

In Santa Barbara proper, I like:
Ah Bon Climat*
Municipal Winemakers

The * are my favorites, and there’s several in the Funk Zone that I haven’t visited yet. Special mention to Les Marchands which is a stellar wine bar located next (inside ish) to the also excellent Lark restaurant.

If you’re into Napa cabs, you might want to try scheduling an appointment and tour+tasting at Crown Point. Adam Henkel formerly from Harlan is the winemaker. It’s an amazing private estate and facility and tours and appointments are weekdays only. It sure is nice in that area after all of this rain. I would second (or 3rd?) Los Olivos and surrounding wineries for tasting, and there are some fun lunch joints in that neat little town.

Cab is not what we’re known for, but some to search out would include Crown Point (made in a riper style), Dierberg (beautiful stuff and Tyler Thomas is a rock star winemaker!), Grassini and a few others.



Love me some Crown Point!! [snort.gif]

Care to bring Benny into the mix?!?!? [snort.gif]

Ha! Man I got to see you again soon!

I always recommend Casa Dumetz in Los Almos CA right next to Santa Ynez.

Paul (or anyone else reading), shoot me a PM if you’d like to visit Zaca Mesa. I’ll make sure you’re taken care of!

Thanks for visiting Santa Barbara Wine Country - enjoy!

A lot of good recs here. By all means make an appt with Larry.
Ross Rankin at Imagine in Buelton makes some great Cab.

Loring is always a fun visit in Buellton; industrial eats is a can’t miss also

Could not agree more. Brian makes wines in a style that it sounds like you would probably iike, and Industrial Eats kills it with food. Do note that if you order wine at Industrial, it will be served in tumblers and out of kegs only. No biggie - but you can bring in your own stems without a problem.

Next door to IE is Alma Rosa as well, and down the street are a few small producers, and up the street is Ken Brown, one of the OG in our area . . .

Less than a mile away along Hwy 246 heading into Solvang is the Hitching Post, and they now have a tasting room set up next door, where they taste their wines and cook lunch as well (killer burgers from what I’ve heard).

Welcome to the neighborhood!


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Nice avatar, Adam. Big BTS spill fan here…