Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours
Exploring Santa Barbara Wine Country
When considering a tour of wine regions in the U.S., most luxury boomer travelers think first of Napa Valley. And while Napa Valley has certainly become a staple in the oenophile’s repertoire, California has other wine regions that are also cherished by wine lovers and worthy of a visit. One of those regions is the Santa Barbara Wine Country.
According to the Santa Barbara Vintners website, “Santa Barbara County is different than any other wine-growing region in California. Here, the east-west orientation of the coastal mountains forms valleys opening directly to the Pacific Ocean. This unique topography allows the flow of fog and ocean breezes to shape distinct microclimates, perfect for the cultivation of classic grape varietals and world class wines.”
Further, the 2004 hit movie Sideways made a star out of the Santa Barbara Wine Country. And, if you’re so inclined, you can follow the Sideways Wine Trail and visit the various vineyards featured in the movie. It is also said that this movie put Pinot Noir on the map as the cool ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean make this region ideal for the cultivation of this delicate grape.
Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours
Carol and I love the Santa Barbara area, and chose this wine-growing region to be the destination for eleven of us to visit as we celebrated the 60th birthday of a dear friend.
Besides all of the fabulous restaurants, resorts, and coastal activities that Santa Barbara has to offer, we also chose this destination as we were well acquainted with the fabulous vineyards that are nearby and readily available for a day of wine tasting. And to guide us on our exploration of the Santa Barbara Wine Country we chose Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours.
- The company is a family owned and operated business by Sherene and Kevin Donoghue.
- Both Sherene and Kevin have received their Level 1 Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers and are members of the Guild of Sommeliers. So, not only do they have extensive experience in the Santa Barbara wine region, they also bring a wealth of interesting knowledge to the wine tasting experience.
- We traveled in comfort in a Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van. The Sprinter had an extended rooftop, gave us all comfy leather seats, and high capacity air conditioning that kept us all comfy and safe.
- Because of Sherene and Kevin’s vast wine experience, they were able to tailor a wine tour that met the desires of our group. For example, our group preferred red varietals. So we found ourselves sampling wonderful wines in fabulous boutique vineyards with exceptional mountain views. Absolutely stunning!
- We enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch, catered from a local artisan sandwich shop, in one of the most visually stunning vineyards on our tour. Magnifique!
- Our guide was great fun! Our chauffeur was co-owner Kevin Donoghue. He was knowledgeable, a very safe driver, attentive to the desires of the group, and made our experience great fun. Thanks Kevin! 😀
If you look at our first slide (above), you’ll notice that everyone is all “woo hoo” and ready for a day of wine tasting. Now, take a peek at the last slide and you’ll notice that most everyone is snoozing after a day of sunshine, wine touring, and wine tasting. Pretty funny. Right? 🙂
Santa Barbara Wine Tour Tips
Don’t try to take in too many vineyards in one day. A relaxing tour might be two vineyards in the morning, lunch, and then two more vineyards in the afternoon. If you do more than that, you’ll feel rushed and perhaps a bit tipsy from all the alcohol.
Further, Kevin Donoghue suggests maybe even a slower pace. He told us that the next time we come, to ask him for the most romantic views coupled with the best wines. He mentioned that this itinerary is one of his client’s favorites as it give folks time to soak in the beautiful surroundings along with a nice glass of wine, rather than a quick sip and running off to the next winery. Kevin mentioned that because of our time restraints, he wasn’t able to show us his very favorite settings. I think we’ll take him up on that suggestion on our next Santa Barbara wine tour.
The eleven of us greatly enjoyed our Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tour experience. We give Kevin and Sherene two big thumbs up, and can confidently recommend them for your visit to the Santa Barbara Wine Country. :yes: :yes:
- Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours
- Santa Barbara Vintners
- Other Roaming Boomers articles on Santa Barbara
Disclosure: our wine tour experience was provided by the kind folks at Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours. Thanks! We had a blast.
Photography: all photographs, except the photograph of Sherene and Kevin (top of article), are protected by copyright and are not available for any use without the expressed written permission of the photgrapher, David A. Porter. That’s me! 😀
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