Time for a road trip just 90 minutes north of Los Angeles to Santa Barbara Wine Country! This enchanting region sits against the Pacific coastline across the Santa Ynez Mountains and Valley to the San Rafael Mountains. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay lovers, take special note! Here’s our Platinum List of what to enjoy!
Vist the Platinum List honorees' websites and these other helpful resources:
A stylish Spanish Mediterranean hideaway in Santa Barbara. Featuring 53 rooms, Bakery, fresh breakfast, Afternoon reception, Swimming pool, and Whirlpool
Solvang’s premier boutique hotel featuring 122 luxurious and spacious guest rooms, a restaurant, an outdoor pool, free casino shuttle, and a 24-hour business center
Offering a quaint and tranquil setting in the heart of Los Olivos. Featuring 19 rooms, complimentary breakfast, restaurant, and complimentary wine tasting.
A family-owned, family-friendly ranch with a timeless ambiance featuring 73 rooms, fireplaces, 3 restaurants, a golf course, and an outdoor pool
A luxurious AAA four-diamond rated wine country inn in Santa Ynez featuring 20 rooms & suites, full breakfast, unique floor plans, wine receptions, and evening desserts
A private narrow drive with many twists and turns leads to this lovely winery set on a hill overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley.
Dotted with mature oaks, the beautifully landscaped lawn connects vineyard and winery. The tasting room’s wraparound veranda has picnic tables so guests can celebrate the view.
Farm animals graze near the tasting room. What’s up the hill? The winery and a small, glassy lake where special events are held.
This genuine ranch property oozes with old west charm. The tasting room is surrounded by vineyards, and there’s an endearing gazebo.
This sustainable 200-acre working ranch is a landscape photographer’s dream with an original homestead, tranquil pond, hiking trails, and equestrian facilities.
Double kudos to this boutique winery with two tasting rooms just miles apart. Guests are made to feel right at home at both.
This attractive winery invites guests to settle in with cozy seating and big leather couches. The pickled asparagus is a great conversation starter.
We like the energetic vibe at this welcoming winery. Guests gather at a 50-foot harvest table and marvel over the resident emus.
The attractive rustic tasting room in Los Olivos has a great laid-back ambiance. The attentive staff is pleasant, informative, and fun.
Set in the Sta. Rita Hills, the winery encourages guests to relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and try a game of horseshoes.
The wines for three labels come from 400 estate acres situated in distinct climate zones to capture the flavors of Santa Barbara County.
Beckmen wines are consistently compelling. The portfolio takes us from Marsanne to Cabernet Sauvignon—all grown in two distinctive estate vineyards.
Blair and Sarah Fox started this label to showcase elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah, but they keep expanding. Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc round out the list.
Estate grown Albariño, Pinot Grigio, Tempranillo, and Syrah make this portfolio intriguing and unique. There’s also Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
With the mantra, “Life is too short for boring wines,” Daniel Gehrs presents a riveting portfolio of aromatic and flavorful wines including some Ports.
This well-rounded list includes several excellent terroir-driven wines. We’re particularly drawn to the Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Viognier as single varietals and as a blend.
Sauvignon Blanc is the cornerstone, but the portfolio holds so much more. Distinctive, classic Bordeaux-styled Cabernets and a knockout Rosé that sells out fast.
The outpost tasting room in the Cuyama Valley is only open on weekends by appointment. Hosts Larry and Karina Hogan are full of great stories. Each wine has won multiple Gold medals.
Opportunities to enjoy a seated tasting outdoors are rare and far between in Santa Ynez Valley. Vincent offers a splendid seated tasting on the covered vineyard terrace as well as inside at the bar.
This attractive Los Olivos tasting room features three exciting wine brands—Marinello, Consilience, and Tre Aneli—plus a wonderful selection of olive oils and vinegars available for sampling. Friendly and informative. A great place to visit on an empty stomach.
This collection of about 26 artisanal wineries is a wine lover’s gold mine. Housed in a small warehouse park, each winery has its own story and portfolio. Guests can enjoy the entire experience on foot.
Seated tastings are the mainstay in the beautiful Buellton tasting room, which was designed with reused and natural materials. A giant olive tree in the center of the space and Rumford fireplace add to the overall ambience. The pace is relaxed and one of the valley’s hottest restaurants, Industrial Eats, is right next door.
On the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, the wines are poured in a delightful tasting room in a restored 1920s Craftsman-style house. The attractive garden has a bocce court and horseshoe pit. In Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, guests enjoy a more urban experience in the inviting tasting lounge.
“Bright citrus flavors and aromas (lemon-lime, grapefruit, orange) are the dominant characters in the wine. A balanced acidity enhances the fruit flavors and provides a fresh, crisp finish.”
PAIRING Lobster bisque
“The wine exhibits deep aromas of spice, dark Bing cherry, wood, burnt blackberries, and jam. On the palate there are slight herbal/floral flavors with minerality, dried violets, and tobacco all surrounded by dense fruit. This a truly lovely wine that is wonderful to drink today when paired with big rich cuisine.”
PAIRING Santa Maria tri-tip
“Made in the traditional méthode champenoise… stone fruit, such as apricot, nectarines, and peach, linger on the nose. The palate enjoys the hint of lemon chiffon, smooth with a zing.”
PAIRING Shrimp cocktail
“This California Pinot Noir shows the quality of its broad appellation. On the nose there are hints of raspberries and forest floor. This wine displays a structured medley of red fruit and body.”
PAIRING Medium and soft cheeses
“The 2012 Westerly Red presents a precise, focused mix of dried berry, currant, and black cherry notes. This is a balanced and finely layered wine, with a rich, yet firm, tannin structure that fans out across the palate.”
PAIRING Barbecue spareribs
“Delicate brass in color, with fruit driven aromatics of grilled pineapple, lemon zest, and white peach and orange blossom springing from the glass. On the palate, notes of honey, fresh ginger and tarragon mingle with weightier impressions of sourdough bread, salted caramel and agave nectar.”
PAIRING Caesar salad
“...the 2014 Syrah Thompson Vineyard is another well-made wine that’s impeccably balanced, medium-bodied and loaded with charm. Giving up notes of spice, blueberries, pepper, and olive, with a touch of cool climate style, it should impress for four to six years.” —Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
PAIRING Smoky meats
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