Best Wineries in Santa Ynez?

Old Jul 15th, 2021, 11:40 AM
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Best Wineries in Santa Ynez?

I am traveling with friends during MLK weekend 2022 to the Santa Barbara area and we all love visiting vineyards. We have visited Napa and Sonoma many times and love wines from Quintessa, Duckhorn/Paraduxx, Stag's Leap, Pride Mountain and the like (i.e. lush pinot noir, viogniere, crisp chardonnay, and the like). We've never been to wineries near Santa Barbara. Based on what I have described of the wines we enjoy, what wonderful wineries would you recommend in Santa Ynez (which I understand to be the closest vineyards to SB). Any you would avoid. We'll be staying in Summerland so think that is a 45 min/1 hour drive. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 12:21 PM
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Things have changed a lot since we used to go wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley (before even tasting fees were widespread!)

You will likely need to make reservations and ask if they are even pouring wines that you might be interested in.

Try Sanford for sure. We used to like Foley Estates but I think they are part of a big corporation now.

Some of the tasting rooms have moved to Lompoc's Wine Ghetto.

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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 12:30 PM
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Along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, we have enjoyed Koehler. Interesting wines. Have loved their Mourvedre and Grenache. Great place for a picnic, too.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 12:49 PM
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One of my favorites has always been Rancho Sisquoc. It is on a working ranch so watch the speed (and a few speed bumps) when driving to the tasting room from the road. Their Cabernet Franc is really good (and often sold out). Their website says reservations are required on weekends. Check it out.
https://www.ranchosisquoc.com/
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 01:30 PM
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The Brave & Maiden Estate
The Roblar Winery and
The Rideau Vineyard

are all gorgeous

Maybe Lincourt for the Chardonnay

Ojai is a bit closer to Summerland than is Santa Ynez/Los Olivos I think, and you wouldn't have to deal with all the holiday weekend casino traffic.
https://www.savoredjourneys.com/wine-tasting-in-ojai-valley/

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Jul 15th, 2021 at 01:35 PM.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 02:46 PM
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On the Foxen Canyon Trail we like Zaca Mesa very much, so much that we belong to their wine club.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 03:58 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I am accustomed to reservations and tasting fees (but joining the wine club id you love the wine normally yields a waiver on that). The good vineyards require reservations I think to maintain the experience (and I do have lots of lead time)! But yikes - casino traffic? What a sad thing!
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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 10:41 AM
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If you like pinot my favorite's are Cambria's Clones 2A, 4 and 23. Rancho Sisquoc, as note above , along with Foxen, Riverbench and Sanford. No reason to get caught up in casino traffic as long as you stay off the 246 and you don't need to go on that road for the places mentioned. Los Olivos also has wonderful tasting rooms but I much prefer going to the actual wineries. Have a great trip and when you narrow it down or if you need help with restaurants- let us know!
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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Things have changed a lot since we used to go wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley (before even tasting fees were widespread!)

You will likely need to make reservations and ask if they are even pouring wines that you might be interested in.

Try Sanford for sure. We used to like Foley Estates but I think they are part of a big corporation now.



Some of the tasting rooms have moved to Lompoc's Wine Ghetto.
Bill Foley still owns Foley Estates and many other wineries, including Firestone. He is the big corporation buying out wineries.

https://www.foleyfoodandwinesociety....s/Our-Wineries



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Old Jul 17th, 2021, 12:22 PM
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I also prefer to visit wineries rather than tasting rooms (and Cambria makes good Pinot noir). Thanks for the tips and for letting me know I can avoid casino traffic.
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