Wine Wine Wine… and The Central California Coast
Some days, it’s really good to be a blogger.
That’s how I felt last week when The California Wine Club took me and four other bloggers on a day of wine tasting to help promote their wine club and current Father’s Day promotion. Because seriously, what better way to promote a great Father’s Day gift than to get mom bloggers drunk? I think our tweets/Instagrams/Facebook statuses reached over 2 million people over the course of the day.
While Sideways may have put Santa Barbara Wine Country and the Santa Ynez Valley on the map, the spectacular views and the amazing wines being grown in the region has firmly cemented this region as one of the world’s top wine making areas. The locals call the area “The Valley” (not to be confused with the San Fernando Valley made popular by the Galleria and Moon Unit Zappa) and the region has distinct areas in which some grapes grow better than others.
The Santa Rita Hills area is the coolest area – it’s closer to the ocean and benefits from coastal fog in the mornings and afternoons. This particular area grows a mean Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape, as the colder temperature keeps the acidity in the grapes higher. Down in the Valley proper the temperatures warm up quicker and stay warmer longer. In this area you will find Cabernet grapes flourishing from the warm to hot temperatures and extended hours of sunlight.
While touring the area, we were lucky to visit three very different wineries: Gainey, Fess Parker and Dierberg & Star Lane Winery. And no matter how hard you beg, I can’t tell you which my favorite was. Gainey is family owned and stunningly gorgeous. Fess Parker is the “celebrity” vineyard and a must see. And Dierberg and Star Lane is the place you want to spend hours, just chilling and drinking some great wine. Each winery treated us like celebrities – giving us tours, private tastings and spouting facts and ruminating facts about wines in general – nothing that I can remember now though… as all those facts were followed by sips of delicious wine.
Now my personal highlight of the day was our last stop – dinner at Avant Tapas and Wine. I mean really – this place, quite literally, had my name written all over it. It was here that I was introduced to the best invention EVER – a self-wine dispensing machine. Like a soda machine – BUT WITH WINE. Upon being sat at the restaurant they hand you a card. When inserted into the machine, the card will give you tastes, 1/2 glasses or full glasses of wine.
Can I repeat? WINE VENDING MACHINE. How do I not have this in my house?
On site at Avant, they also rent the machines and facilities needed to make wine to local wine makers. Rooms full of tanks and barrels of wine – waiting, aging, fermenting… on their way to growing into an amazing glass of vino. It was here that we also were treated to a special wine-makers tasting of tapping the barrel. They opened up a few barrels, and using a long baster gave us tastes of young wine at different stages in its development.
This day was amazing in so many ways. The wine. The experience. And of course, the girls I went with.
Hot Blogging Mamas (L to R) Kadi Prescott, Romy Schorr, Beth Avant, Candice Kahn and Kim Tracy Prince
But the day wouldn’t have been possible without Jon Boring (@boringwineguy) from The California Wine Club. Not only an amazing guide to the area, but to wines also. He knows his stuff. And The California Wine Club sends you the GOODS. Not the stuff you walk into Vons to buy – but amazing bottles from these California vineyards. While I’m sure that there was nothing he would rather be doing than sitting around drinking wine with a group of mom bloggers (heh), his reason for the trip was to help us cultivate a love of wine and help them tell the world about their special Father’s Day promotion.
Right now, if you join The California Wine Club Use the promo code TRIP12 on the California Wine Club website and send a 3-month gift and get the 4th month for free OR try out The California Wine Club for yourself and get 4 bottles for the price of 2 bottles in their first shipment with no obligation to stay.
I mean, HELLO. Get your husband – the Father of your children – wine as a gift and YOU benefit also! Win-Win!
Then get yourself up to Santa Barbara Wine Country for a day/week/month and experience what I think may be the perfect life.
Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own. Photos credits: .