Santa Ynez Valley

Explore a cluster of picturesque small towns and vineyards, complete with high-quality restaurants and popular tasting rooms. Here are three of the best destinations in the area.

Sunstone Winery

You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy a wine tasting at Sunstone. Here, you’ll find scenic spots to enjoy a picnic in Sunstone’s Provençal French-style courtyards. This Santa Ynez Valley vineyard is 100% sustainably grown and organic.

My favorite wine at the moment is Sunstone’s 2019 Grenache Rosé; to me, the wine captures the essence of a strawberry without being sticky-sweet.

Grand Ave, Los Olivos

For an excellent local farm-to-table meal (and more wine), look no further than Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe on Grand Ave. From there, it’s easy to explore the rustic four-block-long strip of boutiques and over 30 wine tasting rooms. Lounge on wooden porches while sipping wine in this ranch town; check out Saarloos and Sons for a particularly laid-back experience.

Bob’s Well Bread 

I’d read a lot of hype about Bob’s Well Bread, so we went early Thursday morning to avoid weekend crowds. Brunch is indeed worth the drive, as is the fresh-baked artisan bread and French-style pastries. The town of Los Alamos is a chill escape with Old West vibes and plenty of great food and antique shopping to explore.

The Adventure Continues

Something fascinating about Santa Ynez Valley is that the area’s ambience can go from Old Western to Victorian to French within minutes. There’s plenty of interesting history in the area, including tales of local bandits, Hollywood stars, and olive farmers. So California, eh? I haven’t even mentioned the Danish town yet – coming up in my next post.