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Redondo Beach

Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Solvang

Off the beaten path wineries and restaurants near Los Olivos?

I spend a bit of time traveling up to the wine region north of Santa Barbara. I'd love any tips on great wineries or restaurants that you love. 

I've done the big wineries. Firestone, Gainey, Bridlewood, etc. I'm looking for smaller wineries that are producing awesome wines as well as solid eating establishments other than The Hitching Post :).

And of course if there is anything else you think I should see/stay/do!

5 Answers

top answer by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

Not sure if  you've made it very far past Firestone Vineyard but if you keep going along that road there are some of my favorite wineries in the area... Foxen Vineyard makes amazing wine, and their tasting room is a rustic barn on the side of the road in an awesome setting.  Next up is Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyard which has pretty good wine in a cool spot, then continue on to Rancho Sisquoc Winery which is a very charming place in a really cool setting.  There are more wineries along the road, but those all have beautiful settings and Foxen and Rancho Sisquoc have great character.  The road itself they are along is a gorgeous drive as well.  

Other wineries that I like between Solvang and Los Olivos:  Blackjack Ranch and Rusack Vineyards.

Other wineries that make good wine are Melville WinerySanford WineryBabcock Winery & Vineyards and Foley Estate Winery.

Finally, a place that's wines may not be as good as some of the others I noted, but is a very fun place (especially to end a day of wine tasting) is Kalyra Winery.

Food-wise, Los Olivos itself is extremely charming and has some nice places to eat:

Santa Ynez:  Grappolo is excellent (Italian)

Ballard:  The Ballard Inn and Restaurant restaurant is very good (more of a quite, romantic place)

 Solvang:  Succulent Cafe & Trading Company is really good and if you want traditional Danish pastries (get a kringle), Olsen's Danish Village Bakery & Coffee Shop is the best in town.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Firestone Vineyard (attraction)
  2. Foxen Vineyard (attraction)
  3. Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyard (attraction)
  4. Rancho Sisquoc Winery (attraction)
  5. Solvang (city)
  6. Los Olivos (city)
  7. Blackjack Ranch (attraction)
  8. Rusack Vineyards (restaurant)
  9. Melville Winery (attraction)
  10. Sanford Winery (attraction)
  11. Babcock Winery & Vineyards (attraction)
  12. Foley Estate Winery (attraction)
  13. Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe (restaurant)
  14. Petros (restaurant)
  15. Panino (restaurant)
  16. R Country Market (attraction)
  17. Grappolo (restaurant)
  18. The Ballard Inn and Restaurant (hotel)
  19. Succulent Cafe & Trading Company (restaurant)
  20. Olsen's Danish Village Bakery & Coffee Shop (restaurant)
  21. Kalyra Winery (attraction)
10 thankscomments (3)

answered by
JR from Manhattan Beach

I would also recommend heading out to Foxen Vineyard.They make great juice, and the tasting room is pretty much a shack off the side of the road which makes it awesome in my book. 

The drive out Foxen Canyon Rd is beautiful. Lunch at the bar at Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe is always great and you can pick up a couple nice bottles too. One of my favorites. Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Foxen Vineyard (attraction)
  2. Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe (restaurant)
7 thanks

answered by
Chris from Superior (Arizona)

Saarloos And Sons Tasting Room is my favorite place to go in Los Olivos. It's a ton of fun, great wine, and you can do cupcake tasking too.

If you liked the Hitching Post II check out Cold Spring Tavern on the weekend and enjoy the best tri-tip steak sandwich ever!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Olivos (city)
  2. Hitching Post II (restaurant)
  3. Saarloos And Sons Tasting Room (attraction)
  4. Cold Spring Tavern (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
Angela from Lompoc

I recommend you pop over to Lompoc for tasting Turiya Wines (by appt only) , Jalama Wines and Tyler Tasting Room... stop for a meal Industrial Eats in Buellton on your way.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Turiya Wines (attraction)
  2. Jalama Wines (attraction)
  3. Tyler Tasting Room (attraction)
  4. Industrial Eats (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Geneva from Santa Barbara

I second Angela's Industrial Eats mention. That place is delicious for both vegetarians and meat eaters. And Sides Hardware and Shoes a Brothers Restaurant in downtown Los Olivos has amazing eats too, within easy walking distance of a lot of the tasting rooms. You'll definitely need a reservation for dinner, but you can luck out for lunch sometimes.

When in Los Olivos proper, I like to taste at Kaena Wine CoAlta Maria Vineyards and tercero winesKaena Wine Co has beautiful grenache and blends, Alta Maria Vineyards has a tasty cab and pinot, and tercero wines is a surprising treat, especially if Larry the winemaker is there. Sometimes he even bakes homemade breads designed to pair with his wines!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Industrial Eats (restaurant)
  2. Sides Hardware and Shoes a Brothers Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Kaena Wine Co (attraction)
  4. Alta Maria Vineyards (restaurant)
  5. tercero wines (restaurant)

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