Santa Barbara's best-kept wineries

By Philip von Wrede

Santa Barbara's best-kept wineries

For great shopping, great food, great culture and wineries, Santa Barbara has it all. Unlike the commercialism of Napa, try escaping to Santa Barbara. With the beaches, the eateries and resorts, I think Santa Barbara is the most unique wine region in California.

Santa Barbara is a pedestrian-friendly community with miles of exotic beaches, beautiful mountains, incredible architecture, and rolling valleys. community

Santa Barbara Winery, Kalyra Winery and Oreana Winery are the top 3 wineries.

Santa Barbara Winery is located at: 202 Ancapa St in Santa Barbara. Started in 1962 by Pierre Lafond, the winery was the first since prohibition and helped spark the wine industry of the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara Winery produces the following wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Pinot Noir among others.

5 bucks wine tasting. For $5, you get to keep the glass and taste 6 different wines. Great atmosphere, amazing value and friendly staff! Incredible Riesling and others were notably exceptional. The beach is within walking distance to the winery, so after a great day of wine tasting, plan on stopping by this winery and stroll out onto the beach.

A great experience overall, very enjoyable, drinkable wine, a great experience even for those not used to wine tasting, or those for whom this may be your first tasting. We will certainly visit Santa Barbara winery again.

Secondly, located 212 State Street is Kalyra winery. Their main winery is in the Santa Ynez valley and this is their second location. Just two blocks from the beach, Kalyra has a cool, fun, adventurous wine experience. The winemaker is from Australia and has been making wine in Australia and California for over 20 years which gives the winery an Australian vibe. The winery also has free movie nights periodically.

For wine tasting the fee is $10, we tasted 3 whites, 3 reds, and 2 dessert wines. Their specialty is dessert wines, so if you are into the sweeter variety, this spot is incredible.

If you were into the movie, "Sideways" (2004), try to spot where Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) meet Stephanie (Sandra Oh) at the bar. It was here at Kalyra! Overall, I must say that I had a fantastic wine experience here, and will gladly return in the near future.

Oreana Winery is last but not least. Oreana Winery is located at 205 Anacapa street. Redeveloped from an old gas station and building off of its bones, this winery was transformed into an incredible winery tasting room. Oreana was very generous with their tasting. This winery did not skimp on the tastings. A definite plus especially when it's great wine. This winery is a must try with creative wines such as "bacon wine".

Visit these three wineries when visiting Santa Barbara.

About the Author: