Santa Ynez vs Napa/Sonoma wine districts

Jan 22nd, 2009, 12:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 85
Santa Ynez vs Napa/Sonoma wine districts

We are planning a visit to California from Europe and would like to visit one of the wine districts. The Santa Ynez area would fit into our plans neatly while seeing Napa/Sonoma would not be so convenient. However I suspect that the latter is a superior experience. I would very much appreciate some feedback on this decision. I'm aware that the Santa Ynez area was featured in the film "Sideways" and I'm curious whether that has had an effect (either positive or negative) on the enjoyment to be had there.
autodidact is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 01:06 PM
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Posts: 17,106
autodidact: I would suggest that you do the "Santa Ynez" area.

Actually you could Google "Santa Barbara" and "Paso Robles" and come up with more than enough wineries in those two regions.

There are over 2,500 bonded wineries in California and not all of them are located in the Napa Valley! There are also many more grape producers who supply grapes to the wineries.

Napa wineries will often blend in grapes from the Central Coastal (santa Ynez, etc) grape growers.

Every year the San Francisco Chronicle publishes a list of "Best" wines. As you can see, many of the winners are from the Central Coast.

This is not to knock Napa/Sonoma, but since Santa Ynez is more convenient for you, then I'd suggest sticking with what's easier for you. Both regions will offer you excellent experiences.

I hope onemoneygirl sees this thread and can post a link to the wine roads map of the Central Coast (sorry, I can't seem to find it).

easytraveler is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 41
Here is the map for Santa Ynez area Wineries here are more spread out than in Napa valley. If you only had one chance in life to visit the wine areas of California I would definitely go to Napa.

It's like comparing Bordeaux to Burgundy. Two outstanding areas for wines in France. But if I only had one chance, I would go to St. Emilion vs. Macon.

Enjoy your trip!
monik is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 02:19 PM
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>>I would go to St. Emilion vs. Macon.<<

I would go to Beaune or Dijon vs. St Emilion or Macon. I would visit Alsace, Burgundy, & Beaujolais vs Bordeaux.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,356
Go to Santa Ynez or where ever else works for your plans. Don't do a special, out of the way trip to Napa/Somoma.
MichelleY is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,830
Having been to both areas many times I agree with the other posters...go for Santa Ynez. Frankly if you're look for top notch Pinot Noir or Charonnay, I think the area around Santa Yenz is equal to or better than most of what you can find in Napa. And, if you want Zinfandels and Rhone varities, it isn't all that far to drive up to the Paso Robles area for very good wines.
In addition to Santa Barbara, a great place to visit on it's own. You have the beaches north of Santa Barbara,historic missions in Santa Barbara and Lompoc areas. Solvang is a bit touristy but fun if you like the Danish theme.
I think initially there was a gush for folks that kind of spoiled the experience after "Sideways" but I think that's faded away now.
boom_boom is offline  

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