One of the nicest things about living in Southern California is all of the quick, enchanting weekend getaways; Palm Springs, San Diego, Big Bear, and Santa Barbara to name a few. Past Santa Barbara is a group of small towns that are home to vineyards, art galleries, and quaint little restaurants. After spending the last couple of weeks in big cities, Memorial Day weekend was a great way to escape to the country.
Saturday morning we headed out and stopped for a quick lunch at The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, CA. The formerly drizzling, cloudy weather disappeared and bright skies emerged over the clear blue water and specialty drinks. Upon entering wine country, one of our first stops was Summerland Wineries. After a few more wine stops, we checked into The Petersen Inn in Solvang. Solvang is a cute little Danish town, full of shops, windmills and restaurants that seem to date back to the olden days; never have I seen so many fudge, ice cream and candy shops in one day! We hit a wide variety of wineries on the trip, including Firestone, Kalyra, Foxen and Sanford. We had a bottle of the famous “Hitching Post” wine at the namesake restaurant, right at the bar, as well as tried out their shrimp and artichoke appetizers. Other “non-sideways” wineries we explored were LaFond, Sunstone, and the hip and trendy Beckmen. I’ve really taken to wine tasting over the last couple of years…I love trying new things, experiencing the different tastes and aromas. You meet so many people along the way that have such interesting stories. Another great thing is food and wine pairings…One of the best fusion-Italian restaurants I’ve ever been to is located in Santa Ynez, Trattoria Grappalo. Their menu features an amazing flat bread pizza, delectable pastas, and mouth-watering deserts. Not to mention next door in the best (and only!) cowboy bar in town, Maverick’s.
Miles and Jack drink Pinot in “Sideways”…as I did this weekend! =)