SANTA BARBARA WINE COUNTRY TRIP DAY
2: Los Olivos and Santa Ynez Wine Trail
One of our favorite stops in the Santa Ynez Valley is charming Los Olivos, with its small-town atmosphere, unique shops, art galleries and a variety of dining options. It's also home to an ever-growing number of wine-tasting rooms, 48 at last count, including Daniel Gehrs, Longoria, Andrew Murray, Consilience, Arthur Earl and Epiphany Cellars. Before you taste, be sure to fuel up with a hearty breakfast. Try the migas (a Mexican egg dish) at Los Olivos Grocery and you probably won't need lunch. If you're in the mood to shop, don't miss J. Woeste, a charming country boutique filled with whimsical garden items, gifts, books and art.
This is also a good day to explore the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Trail. You can enter the trail by heading east on Highway 246. Be sure to visit picturesque Lincourt, Sunstone Vineyards and Winery, The Brander Vineyard for Sauvignon Blanc, and Beckmen for Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. The route also has the advantage of leading you past a miniature horse farm.
Top picks for lunch in Los Olivos include Panino for fresh sandwiches and salads, Los Olivos Café or Sides Hardware and Shoes which, in spite of the name of the historic building, serves up farm fresh food. Some folks still like to follow the steps of the movie. Look for Sideways, The Map, which highlights the main characters' route, if you are so inclined. Another unique stop is Artiste, a salon/tasting venue where you may discover local artists at work or artist Christina Lo Cascio who paints with wine — yes, wine — in the art studio that fronts the tasting room. You too can grab a canvas and create your own masterpiece. Created originally in Santa Ynez as a gathering place for creative souls, this space was inspired by the salon of French impressionist Claude Monet.
to Day 3