#SYVibes

There’s a feeling you get in the Santa Ynez Valley – a vibe. Gather inspiration for your next trip from our blog, and then share how you experience the SYV by tagging your photos on social with #SYVibes.

Experience the Great Outdoors in the Santa Ynez Valley

hiker with mountain view

We’re all looking for a way to get out, without joining a crowd. The Santa Ynez Valley has never been an ordinary wine country destination, and its abundance of outdoor recreation and amenities are a key reason why. 

Set along California’s Central Coast, with the San Rafael Mountains to the north and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south, rests a natural playground for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, outdoor adventurists, and more. And on a given weekday, those landscapes become all the more tranquil.

Entering the valley and catching the first glimpse of Cachuma Lake sparkling under the summer sun or of the region’s rolling hills, dotted with California live oaks and painted with acres of lush vineyards, offers a much-needed breath of fresh air. A quick excursion to the 80-foot waterfall at Nojoqui Falls Park or the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from Gaviota Peak or Figueroa Mountain provides a breathtaking shot of energy.

Increasingly, the popularity of the valley’s natural outdoor assets has bolstered the region’s reputation as a world-class wine and culinary destination. Visitors want to explore the outdoors, appreciate a destination from a new or different perspective,  or experience something that they might not be able to at home, and the Santa Ynez Valley provides many opportunities to do just that.

Here are just a few of some of the best ways to get outdoors in the Santa Ynez Valley:

Cachuma Lake: A stroll along the shores of Cachuma Lake on the Tequepis Trail, is often greeted with native bald eagles, ospreys, and hawks soaring above. The lake is also popular for fishing, boating, and ample hiking and mountain bike paths.

A playground for hikers: The Santa Ynez Valley offers hundreds of miles of trails to explore, from scenic vineyard-to-vineyard strolls, to more challenging hikes rewarded with fields of wildflowers or incredible sea-to-valley vistas. There are so many to choose from, but the easy hike to Nojoqui Falls is always popular for families. And more challenging hikes to Gaviota Peak or to the top of Grass Mountain offer incredible scenic payoffs.

Vineyards by horseback: Exploring the vineyards is a quintessential Santa Ynez Valley experience. But with a vineyard horseback ride a connection between human and animal is made, creating a deeper and enriching moment. Estelle Ranch and Vineyards Ride & Wine tour from Vino Vaqueros or a KAP Land & Cattle tour of the vineyards of Fess Parker offers an enriching and rewarding experience.

Santa Ynez Valley by two wheels: The rural country roads that connect the wineries and communities of the Santa Ynez Valley are also ideal for a two-wheel adventure. Whether you’re interested in doing an easy 5 miles with the family, 50 miles through rolling vineyards, or a multi-day tour of wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley and its less-trafficked roads make for a cyclist’s nirvana. Everything you need can be found at Dr. J’s Bicycle Shop, Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours, or Wheel Fun Rentals.

Ohm away from home: Vineyard Yoga SYV connects yoga enthusiasts with the natural world through its yoga classes that take place in the serenity and solitude of local vineyards, followed by wine tasting.

The outdoor wine tasting experience: With more than 100 wineries, many with expansive grounds, outside seating, and room to roam, wine-tasting is an outdoor activity in the Santa Ynez Valley, too.

The Santa Ynez Valley’s healthy, outdoor lifestyle seems particularly fitting at a time when getting outside and into open space has never felt more important for our physical and mental wellbeing. There’s something calming, refreshing, and reinvigorating about seeing the Pacific Ocean from the top of Gaviota Peak, hiking a trail that passes by an endless field of California wildflowers, or just walking through a rolling vineyard, and this is the perfect place to do all of the above and more.

Start planning your outdoor adventure at visitsyv.com, where you can research events and attractions, book lodging and activities, and create a custom travel itinerary.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Your Social Distanced Getaway

friends having lunch outside under umbrella

Why midweek is the primetime to visit the Santa Ynez Valley

Vacation plans have been upended everywhere, leaving many asking themselves just where they can go to get away, yet avoid the crowds. The Santa Ynez Valley has always offered an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. That is particularly true during weekdays.

And in the era of flexible work schedules and social distancing, a midweek visit to the Santa Ynez Valley has never been more appealing or more attainable.

Late summer and fall are typically the most coveted of seasons in the Santa Ynez Valley — filled with the energy that comes from the sunshine of summer and the fall harvest that breathes life into the Santa Ynez Valley’s world-class wines. That energy is present this year, too, but more muted than in a typical year, especially during weekdays.

We’re used to seeing the bakeries, restaurants, and tasting rooms in Solvang teeming with travelers nearly every day this time of year. But right now, the weekday quiet offers a welcome calm, fostering an environment perfect for those in search of a peaceful, healthy escape. And what’s more – many  Santa Ynez Valley inns, hotels and tour companies have created special midweek promotions and discounts to take advantage of by traveling Sunday through Thursday.

Only 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, two hours north of Los Angeles, and a scenic four-hour drive south of San Francisco, the Santa Ynez Valley is easy to get to but can feel a world away on any day. But during a midweek stay, savvy travelers discover a touch more access to the region. Most find the mandated reduced capacities at tasting rooms and restaurants no bother at all — giving more freedom to explore the Santa Ynez Valley’s farm-to-table culinary scene and its world-class wineries.

Last-minute planners are given a reprieve to make a spur-of-the-moment decision, with plenty of midweek availability and affordability at the Santa Ynez Valley’s eclectic mix of lodgings, such as the modern luxury found at The Landsby, hip boutique hotels such as the Skyview Los Alamos, and intimate B&Bs like the Ballard Inn.

Yet the character of SYV’s six distinct communities — which range from classic California wine country to Northern Europe to the Old West — is still easily experienced. Instead of crowds, visitors find that in midweek, winemakers have more time to deeply discuss their varietals and vintages. Prime outdoor seating at the region’s best restaurants, many of which face capacity limits, is easier to find, too.

During the midweek, the Santa Ynez Valley’s hundreds of miles of trails — from scenic vineyard-to-vineyard strolls, to more challenging hikes rewarded with fields of wildflowers or incredible sea-to-valley vistas — are less traveled and offer just a bit more solitude. Experiences such as a horseback ride through the vineyards of SYV or a bike ride down the country roads offer the peace we are all seeking.

Never has there been a better opportunity to get away from everything, especially the crowds.

Start planning your midweek stay at visitsyv.com, where you can research events and attractions, book lodging and activities, and create a custom travel itinerary.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


WFH: Wine Country Edition

woman working remote outside

Work is no vacation…But it can be.

World events have us all rethinking how, when, and why we travel. For many of us, gone is the conventional business trip. For others, a long vacation to an exotic location might seem unobtainable or unsafe.

But with remote work now a fact of life for many of us, a new opportunity has come — the “work-cation.” Increasing in popularity in recent months, a work-cation involves going somewhere anywhere other than home to work in a different environment or setting — be it for a week or two or a few months — allowing for a deeper exploration of a region than any vacation would make possible.

Nestled on the Central Coast — the Santa Ynez Valley offers the infrastructure and proximity to Los Angeles and San Francisco, to put such a notion into practice.

If the past few months have taught us anything it is that for many of us, the ability to accomplish work successfully and remotely is not mutually exclusive. It’s one of the reasons why for many companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Square, Slack, Shopify, and Zillow, a permanent remote work option for employees is becoming increasingly popular.

Brett White, the CEO of global commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, predicts that the permanent remote workforce could double to nearly 10%. That represents a titanic shift in the way many of us engage our jobs, making proximity to work an afterthought if it is a thought at all.

The Visit Santa Ynez Valley staff has mostly been working from home since March, and we have surprised ourselves by just how well it has worked. And the idea of work-cation is something that the Santa Ynez Valley is embracing, with many of our hotels, inns and tour companies offering midweek specials to help break up the work-week, wine country style.

Our famously welcoming community is perfect for visitors-turned-short-term-residents who long for a much-needed break from the monotony and routine in which they are currently stuck.

Imagine waking up in a Santa Ynez Valley boutique hotel, spending your morning working poolside, leaving your afternoons free to wine taste at any one of more than 100 wineries that are just minutes from your front door. Or maybe the work can wait, leaving the morning for a hike up Gaviota Peak and the sea-to-valley scenic payoff at the summit or a long morning ride around a quiet country road.

Wind down the workday with an incredible meal prepared by the wine country eateries that have made the Santa Ynez Valley so beloved by travelers.

Sounds pretty great.

During a work-cation, you have plenty of time to immerse yourself in the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, learning the unique charms of each, from the Danish-American-enclave of Solvang to the foodie culture of Los Alamos.

Let’s be honest, the last few months have seemed like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day. So perhaps most importantly, work-cations represent an opportunity to change up the routine and boost your morale. They can boost productivity by removing the day-to-day chores that come with being home. And they can improve wellness by offering a well-earned opportunity to relax and take a deep breath.

Whatever your reason, the Santa Ynez Valley offers a rare chance to live and work in wine country — if only for a few weeks or months.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Natural Wine and Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country: A Getaway Wine Buying Guide

Wine world catch phrases and industry jargon abound these days, making wine tasting and wine buying choices slightly daunting for the likes of us neophyte oenophiles (see, there it is again!). What constitutes a “natural wine”? How do I know if this wine is organic? What on earth is biodynamically made wine? Here, a primer for wine tasting in Santa Ynez Valley wine country; a simple sampling and shopping guide for dinner parties, date nights, and your organic-everything friends or family.

The Santa Ynez Valley boasts such a wide array of wine varietals, winemaking methods and wine tasting experiences, you would be hard-pressed (pun intended) to cover all of its vineyard-blanketed ground in one day. Good news, is that the Santa Ynez Valley’s vino variety is rivaled only by its bountiful inventory of lodging accommodations – hotels, motels and inns, B&Bs, resorts – at nearly all wine country vacation budget levels. A healthy roster of food and wine festivals and events, year ‘round, also provides ample opportunity for getaways to this burgeoning California wine destination.

Welcome wine to the table with a clean conscience, and “clean” wines.

Let’s talk “natural wine”: there is no clear definition of natural wine, nor are there any legal confines which determine whether a wine can, for sure, be deemed “natural”. What do exist, are a number of organizations around the world which set guidelines for particular wine growing regions; associations which only allow wines made a certain way, to carry a natural wine designation. Loosely utilizing some of the rules set forth by these organizations, we can somewhat-safely say that natural wines at their very base level, must start with grapes which have been organically and/or biodynamically farmed.

The Santa Ynez Valley has a growing (again, with the puns) number of organically-farmed vineyards, some of which sell their grapes to numerous labels, often aside from the vineyard’s own estate labels. One such vineyard and wine label, is Coquelicot Estate Vineyard, a certified organic (CCOF) planting located in the Los Olivos District, a micro-AVA within the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. Wines which originate from Coquelicot’s vineyard range in varietal from Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling to Grüner Veltliner, to Pinot Noir, Malbec, Syrah and Sangiovese, as seen in Coquelicot’s own Sangiovese Rosé.

Another organically-farmed Santa Barbara wine country vineyard, is Spear Vineyards & Winery, in the famed Sta. Rita Hills – an AVA most known for its award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Spear produces its own estate label, but also sells grapes to other Santa Barbara County winemakers and brands like Kings Carey Wines, which bottles a low-intervention Grenache from organically-grown Spear Vineyards grapes.

But as a consumer, how do you know if a wine comes from an organically-farmed vineyard? Well, it can be a selling point, and labels which recognize this will often advertise the fact on their bottles. Look for the terms “made with organic grapes” or “made with organically-grown grapes”, on wine bottle labels.

Biodynamically speaking…

In the same vein as organic vineyards, are biodynamic vineyards. According to the Biodynamic Association, “Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition.” Simply and broadly said, biodynamic vineyards are farmed with sustainability in mind, as well as a happy ecosystem, eco-friendly practices and cheerful grapes – and people. Santa Barbara County examples of wines produced from biodynamic farming practices, are Ampelos Cellars (also organic) in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and a number of bottlings produced with grapes from biodynamic and sustainable Duvarita Vineyard, a Santa Barbara County AVA vineyard turning out popular wines like Story of Soil’s Duvarita Pinot Noir or Syrah, and Storm Wines Pinot Noirs.

Organizations which monitor what could be considered natural wine, often differ on the hot-topic of sulfites. Sulfites are used as a preservative in most wines, and the use of sulfites in rather small quantities will usually, still qualify a wine as “natural” in a number of purist wine circles. Santa Ynez Valley wine country examples of low-sulfite wines are Solminer Wine Co., which also places the utmost importance on organic farming practices, and Lumen Wines, which pulls grapes from sustainably-farmed vineyards. The afore-mentioned Kings Carey Wines, also produces a low-in-sulfites, dry Sémillon, affectionately referred to as “an alternate white wine”.

 

Time for an intervention: low-intervention.

One facet of what could be considered “natural” winemaking, is intervention level – either in the vineyard, or in the winery. Low- or minimal-intervention wines are left somewhat untouched by the winemaker, allowing all of the naturally-occurring processes of fermentation, to do their thing. One of the newer, minimal intervention wine labels coming out of Santa Barbara County, is Metrick Wines – but low-intervention wines are abundant in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Let’s get technical. Switching gears just slightly, another wine-geek term and trend is “carbonic”. Carbonic maceration, to be more exact, is a fermentation process for red wine, differentiated by the way in which fermentation is initiated. In carbonic maceration processes, no yeast is added to kick off fermentation; the process essentially starts within the grape itself, when those grapes have been sealed in a large vessel which also contains carbon dioxide. You might see the mention of “carbonic” on Santa Ynez Valley wine country labels like Lo-Fi Wines, which practices whole cluster carbonic fermentation on some of their minimalist wines (how’s that, for a mouthful?), or Stolpman Vineyards’ carbonically fermented, 100% Sangiovese, “Love You Bunches”. Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, a sustainable, working farm and vineyard, got into the carbonic game with its 2017 “Carbonique”, a 100% Cabernet Franc fermented via carbonic maceration.

With all of this newfound wine knowledge in-hand, it’s time to go wine tasting! The wine labels mentioned above, plus scores more, may be tasted and purchased at their respective wineries and/or tasting rooms, or in Santa Ynez Valley restaurants, wine bars and wine shops, scattered throughout the Valley’s six towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. Looking for a way to sample multiple natural wines from different labels? Visit Bodega Los Alamos, one of the region’s wine, beer and cider purveyors which not only tends toward local wines, but also natural-leaning ones.

 

Make that “thing to do” – natural wine – one of your “things to do”: book now, to start your Santa Ynez Valley wine education activities.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Valentine’s Day in the Santa Ynez Valley

Looking for a memorable Valentine’s Day in the Santa Ynez Valley? While you’ll no doubt find a wonderfully romantic and impeccable experience anywhere you turn in the SYV, these particular locales have something special in store for your Valentine’s Day weekend. See below for special events and offers in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Tasting Room Offers:

Alma Rosa Winery – Valentine’s Day Candlelight Wine Tasting
180-C Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427
(805) 688-9090
Join Alma Rosa Winery from 5-7pm for a pre-dinner wine tasting by candle light. Their entire tasting room will be lit by candles for a beautiful evening for one or two. Please call 805-688-9090 ex 103 to make reservations. Reservations Encouraged, Walk-ins Welcome.

Dana V Wines – Chocolate and Wine Pairing
1588 Mission Dr suite b, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-3488
All February long, tasting room guests can enjoy a wine + chocolate pairing, with 4 wines paired with 4 chocolates from local favorite Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates. $20 (wine club $15).

Restaurant Menus & Offers:

First & Oak at Mirabelle Inn
First & Oak’s delightful Valentine’s Day dinner offers 4 courses which can be served with or without a sommelier wine pairing for each course. 2 seating options are available (6pm and 8:30pm). Peruse the menu here.

Mad & Vin at The Landsby
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-3121
Enjoy the sweetly designed aesthetics of Mad & Vin at the Landsby while savoring these Valentine’s Day specials.

Norman at Skyview Los Alamos
9150 US-101, Los Alamos, CA 93440
(805) 344-0080
Norman’s 3 course Valentine’s Day menu offers a bevy of choices, all for $55. Find the menu here.  

Plenty on Bell
508 Bell St, Los Alamos, CA 93440
(805) 344-3020
Plenty on Bell’s special $65 Valentine’s Day dinner includes a glass of Domaine Rondeau Champagne to be paired with three courses. Find the menu here.

What about the kids?

Looking for romance sans the kids for one night? Get your dancing shoes out and the kids ready, because it’s Parents Night Out (aka Kids Only Night) at Gypsy Studios ‘Art Spot’. Their quarterly Kids Only Night provides art projects, pizza dinner and a kids movie, while you get a chance to do… well what ever you please! Free for members, visit website for single-visit pricing.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Wine Country Meets Dine Country for 10th Annual Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks

Celebrating its 10th year, Restaurant Weeks offers tastes from the Valley’s finest restaurants and most creative chefs with special three-course meals for $20.20

The Santa Ynez Valley has long been celebrated as much for its creative culinary scene as its world-class wines, but during Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks wine country truly meets dine country.

Set for Jan. 19-31, Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is back for a 10th consecutive year with a fresh mix of participating restaurants, wineries, and lodging options. The once-a-year celebration of the fork invites foodies from both near and far to savor specially curated three-course tasting menus — each for just $20.20 — from the Valley’s top dining establishments.

“As an affordable, immersive experience, Restaurant Weeks continues to grow in popularity, even after 10 years,” said Shelby Sim, President/CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “This is a region best known for its wine, so it is always fun to put on display the increasingly diverse and inspired culinary creations of local chefs. And Restaurant Weeks never disappoints.”

Blessed with an abundance of imaginative local chefs, deep agricultural roots, and a collaborative culinary scene, dining in the fertile Santa Ynez Valley is an attraction all to itself. Ranging from traditional Scandinavian feasts to contemporary and innovative farm-to-table fare, the region’s cuisine is a perfect pairing with the region’s world-class wines.

Representing each of the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, nearly three dozen restaurants will participate in this year’s Restaurant Weeks. In addition to the offerings of the Valley’s restaurants, a number of Santa Ynez Valley wineries will offer wine and small bite pairings in their tasting rooms for $20.20.

And special lodging deals are available at hoteliers throughout the Valley.

Dates of participation vary by establishment, but this year’s complete list of participants can be found at here. Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week menus do not include tax, tip, or beverages, and reservations are strongly encouraged.

For the latest updates on Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks, including participating restaurants, wineries, lodging options, menus and dining hours, visit www.DineSYV.com.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Christmas in the Santa Ynez Valley

 

Below is a guide to making the most of your Christmas experience in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here you will find a list of what restaurants and wineries will be open, and which restaurants offer special holiday menus. For the best experience, we highly recommend calling the restaurants and tasting rooms ahead of time to ensure they still have seating availability.

Tasting Rooms Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Wine Tasting on Christmas in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 


Restaurants Open Christmas Day

 

Restaurants Open in Solvang for Christmas

Stay in the loop, join our newsletter today!

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Thanksgiving in the Santa Ynez Valley

Thanksgiving Restaurants

Thanksgiving is here (though the weather may not always reflect it!) – and if you are thinking about letting someone else do the cooking this year, Santa Ynez Valley restaurants are eager to serve.

Below is a guide to making the most of your Thanksgiving experience in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here you will find a list of what restaurants and wineries will be open, and which restaurants offer special holiday menus. For the best experience, we highly recommend calling the restaurants and tasting rooms ahead of time to ensure they still have seating availability.

But what other things to do on Thanksgiving can you partake in, especially if you have relatives to entertain? How about a little adventure on Thanksgiving Day? Vino Vaqueros Horseback Riding will be open for rides on Thanksgiving. Call (805) 944-0493 to make your reservation. Need a little exercise before dinner? Head to the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA from 5:30am – 10am.

Also, make sure to check out our Events Calendar for a complete listing of upcoming events.

Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day 2019

Actor’s Corner Cafe 443 Second Street, Solvang (805) 686-2409 5:00pm -8:00pm (reservations required)
Belgian Café 1671 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang (805) 688-6630 10 AM – 3 PM
Bit O’ Denmark 473 Alisal Road, Solvang  (805) 688-5426 11 AM – 9 PM
Big Bopper Drive-In 1510 Mission Dr., Solvang (805) 688-6018 10 AM – 7 PM
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery 550 Bell St
Los Alamos
(805) 344-3000 7:00am – 11:00am; pre-order pickups of pie, bread, rolls and pastry; enjoy café service for pastry and coffee service (not full kitchen service).
Cafe Dolce 475 First St, Solvang (805) 708-9003 6 AM – 8 PM
Cecco Ristorante 475 First St, Solvang (805) 688-8880 12:00 PM – 3 PM
Chumash Casino 3400 CA-246
Santa Ynez
(805) 686-0855 Cafe: 7am – midnight; full daily menu in addition to a pre-fix Thanksgiving turkey dinner menu that includes Roasted butternut squash soup to start then traditional turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes and then house made pumpkin pie with cookie butter ice cream. This menu is $22.95.      Buffet: 1pm-9pm; price is $45 for adults and $14.95 for 12 and under children. Serving full buffet in addition to roast turkey with all the thanksgiving trimmings.
Willows:  3:00pm – 9:00pm; serving daily Willows menu in addition to a pre-fix holiday menu. Starter: Choice of Roasted Butternut squash soup or compressed apple salad; Entrée: Deistel free range turkey, cornbread stuffing, Rancho Cortez green beans, Sweet yam gratin, whipped Yukon gold potatoes, and giblet gravy; Dessert: Pumpkin S’mores, cranberry sorbet, housemade pumpkin pie with crumble crust; Price: $65.
First & Oak at the Mirabelle Inn 409 First St., Solvang (805) 688-1703 Reservations
4 – 8 PM; set menu
Hummingbird Café 453 Atterdag Road  (805) 403-7100 11AM – 5 PM
Mad & Vin at The Landsby 1576 Mission Dr., Solvang (805) 688-3121 4 PM – 9 PM; bar opens at 4pm (Happy Hour), 6 pm-8 pm bar menu is served; Dinner (set menu only) 4pm-9pm, dining room, private dining room and patio only; call for reservations
Paula’s Pancake House 1531 Mission Dr, Solvang  (805) 688-2867 6 AM – 3 PM
Pea Soup Andersen’s 51 E Hwy 246
Buellton
(800) 732-7687 7:00am – 8:00pm
Red Viking Restaurant 1684 Copenhagen Dr Solvang (805) 688-6610 9 AM – 4 PM
River Grill Restaurant & Bar 150 Alisal Road, Solvang (805) 688-7784 8 AM – 2 PM
Root 246 420 Alisal Rd
Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 686-8681 Reservations accepted from 2pm-8pm/ MENU
Silk Roads Kitchen 435 Alisal Road, Solvang, CA  (805) 697-6960 11 AM – 5 PM
Solvang Brewing Company 1547 Mission Drive (805) 688-2337  11:00am – Midnight; Thanksgiving menu
Solvang Restaurant 1672 Copenhagen Dr Solvang, CA 93463 (805) 688-4645 6 AM – 3 PM
The Ballard Inn & Gathering Table 2436 Baseline Ave
Ballard
(800) 638-2466 3:00pm – 8:00pm; set menu; $85++, reservations required
 Santa Ynez Valley Marriott 555 McMurray Rd, Buellton (805) 688-1000 Thanksgiving Buffet  from 10 AM – 2 PM
Norman at Skyview Los Alamos 9150 US-101, Los Alamos, CA 93440 (805) 344-0104 4 PM – 9 PM; menu 

 

Wineries / Tasting Rooms Open Thanksgiving Day  2019
Community Craft 2446 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos (805) 338-1403 11:00am – 4:00pm
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company 45 Industrial Way, Buellton

2363 Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos

(805) 694-2252 ext. 110

(805) 694-2252 ext. 343

11:00am – 4:00pm

11:00am – 3:00pm

The Good Life 1672 Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-7111 11:00am – 4:00pm

 

 

Santa Ynez Valley Events


Celebrate Harvest with Inaugural Food, Wine, Experiential Festival, Oct. 17-20th

First Annual Santa Ynez Valley Signature Event to include Town-Wide, Progressive Dinner; VIP Wine Tastings and Seminars; Varying Menu of Winemaker Dinners; Live Music; Film Screening; Vineyard Tours and Outdoor Activities; plus, “Solvang Grape Stomp” and “Sideways Fest”

The Santa Ynez Valley, home to one of the California Central Coast’s renowned wine regions, will host its inaugural four-day food, wine and experiential event, “Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley: The First Course in Food, Wine, and Experiences” (TasteSYV.com), Thursday through Sunday, October 17-20, 2019. The new signature event will take place in the six Santa Ynez Valley wine country towns of Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Solvang, Ballard and Buellton, with immersive experiences meant to serve as an introductory course to the edible and imbibe-able bounty of the burgeoning food, wine and beer destination.

More than 100 restaurants, wineries, wine tasting rooms, breweries, and entertainment venues will welcome Santa Ynez Valley visitors and locals during the four days of foodie adventure, with over two dozen events spread throughout the region, with associated tickets and pricing designed for all wining and dining budgets. Approachable in terms of both itinerary and location, sitting approximately two hours north of Los Angeles by car, and four hours south of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities will showcase their defining food and wine features during their respective Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley event days.

“Santa Ynez Valley is quietly rising to the top of wine and food lovers’ lists as a must-visit wine region, and our offering of not one, but six towns to explore and consume, means there’s something here for nearly every ‘taste’,” said Shelby Sim, President / CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, the destination marketing organization overseeing the event’s production.

Launching Thursday, October 17 in the final food-frontier of Los Alamos, guests may pull up a chair for a seated dinner served at a lengthy communal table, on the atmospheric Old West town’s main thoroughfare of Bell Street. Featured chefs and restaurants will include the likes of entertainment exec-turned-baker, Bob Oswaks, of Bob’s Well Bread Bakery; pioneering Los Alamos chef/restaurateur, Clark Staub, of Full of Life Flatbread; heavy-hitting wine tasting room and restaurant combos like winemaker Will Henry’s joint venture with chef Drew Terp, Pico at the Los Alamos General Store, or farmer James Ontiveros’ Ranchos de Ontiveros Wines coupled with chef Conrad Gonzales’ Cisko Kid oakwood grilling; and Bell’s Restaurant, at which the serious culinary cred of husband/wife team Greg and Daisy Ryan, takes a French twist. The al fresco dinner will begin with a sparkling toast featuring Riverbench Vineyard & Winery.

Thursday event attendees may also sample from the wine, beer and cider havens of Casa Dumetz Wines and Babi’s Beer Emporium, natural-leaning Lo-Fi Wines or Bodega Los Alamos, Bedford Winery, Municipal Winemakers and more, either at the businesses’ Los Alamos locations or at a wine tasting and live music gathering in the town’s Ferrini Park, where Santa Maria and Los Alamos wineries will pour in a grand tasting format.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings will offer event attendees stand-alone, optional activities such as hikes, bicycling, horseback riding, yoga in the vineyards, brunches, breakfasts and coffee experiences, plus a Saturday-only “Sideways Shuttle Tour”.

Continuing on Friday, October 18, in the Valley’s namesake town of Santa Ynez, Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley will educate guests during wine seminars and wine tastings – the latter showcasing Santa Ynez-proper and Happy Canyon AVA wines – to be held at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. The storied Maverick Saloon will host an evening concert and BBQ.

Also on tap for Friday, is the beginning of the Sta. Rita Hills Wine Alliance’s Sideways Fest Wine & Movie Celebration, an event-filled tribute to the film which 15 years ago, kick-started the Santa Ynez Valley’s place in wine and movie history. The Friday night Sideways Fest happening, to be held at the open-air Solvang Festival Theater, will include a movie screening and wine tasting spotlighting wineries tied to the now-iconic film. A Q&A Panel featuring Sideways film personalities will precede the screening.

The foodie fun will continue on Saturday, October 19, in the Santa Ynez Valley hubs of Los Olivos and Solvang. The festival within a festival which puts the “country” back in “wine country”, Los Olivos’ annual “Day in the Country”  fall fest will serve as the family-friendliest portion of Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Victorian-era village’s streets will be closed to traffic, boasting rows of artisan vendors, food trucks and booths, an early morning family “fun run”, and a small-town parade. Los Olivos’ walk-able avenues will lead tasting passport-holding guests through the wine-soaked town, while a tented VIP Lounge will feature Los Olivos-area labels lacking in-town tasting rooms.

The second annual Solvang Grape Stomp will also take place on Saturday, with an actual grape stomping opportunity, live music, and Valley-wide producer wine tastings lining pedestrian-friendly streets in the heart of Solvang, “California’s Denmark”. Saturday evening will bring wine dinner experiences scattered about both Los Olivos and Solvang, at Santa Ynez Valley wine country restaurant favorites like local-food-driven Root 246 at Hotel Corque; Michelin-honored First & Oak; and at chef/owner Budi Kazali’s The Gathering Table at his Ballard Inn, in the pastoral burg of Ballard.

On Sunday, the festivities move down the road to the travel-town of Buellton, where Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley culminates with a Sideways Wine Festival grand tasting at River View Park featuring wine, beer and food from all over the Santa Ynez Valley, accompanied by live music. Sunday night stays will award guests with both wine- and beer-pairing events in and around Buellton, including a daytime cooking class at Industrial Eats and a beer-pairing dinner at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

“With so many fantastic, regionally unique places to eat and an unending supply of excellent wine and beer coming from all corners of the Santa Ynez Valley right now, there’s never been a better time to capitalize on this culinary concentration,” remarked Matt Kettmann, editor at Wine Enthusiast and The Santa Barbara Independent. “It’s exciting to see all of the individual communities band together to host a series of educational and edible events to promote the overall Santa Ynez Valley brand. Every place is distinct, yet they all share a commitment to making world-class wine and serving delicious food, mostly grown in the surrounding fields.”

Produced in partnership with Santa Barbara-based En Fuego Events, and with media sponsorship by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, ticket proceeds from the inaugural Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley will benefit Santa Barbara Vintners. A “VIP” all-inclusive lanyard package will be available for purchase, granting attendees access to all Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley main events plus one evening experience per night. Single-day lanyards will also be available for purchase, providing access to any given day’s main events and one of that evening’s wine dinners. Individual event wristbands will also be available, for entry into the weekend’s individual, main events.

Sim added, “The Santa Ynez Valley’s layout is as diverse as our food, wine, beer and spirits craft culture, making the area an ideal multiple-day getaway. What’s more, we have numerous hotels and lodging options to suit nearly any vacation budget and itinerary. Our menu of wine country getaway offerings is as fruitful as our land, so we’ve created this event to give visitors just a little taste of the Santa Ynez Valley…knowing that they’ll come back for more.”

More information is available at TasteSYV.com, where links to the Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley ticketing platform and a schedule of weekend events is now available. Get a taste of the Santa Ynez Valley on Instagram and Twitter at @VisitSYV, and on Facebook at facebook.com/VisitSYV. Follow the food, wine and beer festival’s progress at facebook.com/TasteSYV, @TasteSYV and twitter.com/TasteSYV.


VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Spend Mother’s Day Weekend in the Santa Ynez Valley

Spend Mother’s Day Weekend in the Santa Ynez Valley

Yes, you need to do the traditional Mother’s Day brunch and flowers. Still, why not think outside the ‘lunch box’ and give mom some extra love and care with these great wine country activities that she’ll cherish? Think painting and yoga in the vineyard, perfume making, treats and delicious food in Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country.

Here are some ideas to make the weekend extra special, and as a bonus, these are things that will be great fun for you, too!

Playtime

Do something a little different this year, with a focus on bonding time together:

Saturday, May 11: Bicycle through Wine Country with Mom

www.rewindphotography.com Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer

Pedal through beautiful Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country, visit two wineries and enjoy tastings and a picnic lunch.

Details: Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours, (805) 884-9283. Event details here

Saturday, May 11: Painting in the Vineyard at Koehler Winery

Are you looking for a new experience in wine country while spending quality time celebrating a mother in your life? Then come paint in the vineyard with Gypsy Studios and put a creative twist on your next Mother’s Day gift. You’ll spend the morning sipping delicious Koehler wines and capturing the beauty of the vineyard on canvas.

This two and half hour experience will inspire your creative side while indulging the wine lover in you. Don’t worry if you’ve never painted. Our trained artist and teacher will walk you through each step of the process. You’ll be amazed at what you can create!

The Koehler Winery property boasts gorgeous vistas, picnic areas, and 40-year-old vines..some of the oldest in the Santa Ynez Valley. Situated on Foxen Canyon Road, this winery is just minutes away from Los Olivos, CA as well as a bounty of other wine tasting rooms and vineyards. The estate’s storied history includes ownership by one of the most successful television producers in history, renowned for such iconic shows as The Love Boat, Dynasty and Wonder Woman.

Bring your friends and family, pack a picnic and grab a wine glass and a paintbrush!

$65 per painter – includes wine tasting, a Gypsy Studios stemless wine glass, plus all art materials and instructions for you to create your one-of-a-kind masterpiece!

Event is from 10:30am -1:30pm

Details: Koehler Winery, 5360 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos. Event Details Here

Saturday, May 11: Spring Retreat at Brave & Maiden Winery

Treat yourself to this decadent Spring Retreat held the day before Mother’s Day. This elevated wine country experience brings together a peaceful yoga practice, serene grounds, an exclusive wine tasting, and a catered lunch in the newest winery in Santa Ynez Valley. Get behind the gates at this by-appointment-only winery and explore the beautiful architecture, design, and grounds while getting away from it all.

What’s Included
-1-hour (all levels) yoga class outside surrounded by vineyards
-Mindfulness guided meditation
-10-min relaxation at the end of the yoga class
-Seated wine tasting with a personal wine guide who will walk you through your flight
-Fresh, modern Italian dishes created by SY Kitchen for lunch
-This three-hour mini-retreat will leave you feeling refreshed, serene, and pampered

•Hours of Event: 10:00am-1:00pm

• Cost of Event or Menu: $95 per person

Details: Brave & Maiden, 649 N Refugio Rd, Santa Ynez. Event Details Here

Saturday, May 11 & Sunday, May 12: Mother’s Day Weekend- Turquoise Succulents Workshops at The Brander Vineyard

Join Santa Barbara-based succulent artist Ashley Rifkin and design your very own succulent arrangement while celebrating that special mom in your life and enjoying a glass of Brander wine. Bring friends and family and take in the sunshine and gorgeous scenery at The Brander Vineyard while learning to create your very own succulent arrangement. Choose from a variety of vessels, rare succulents, and decorative finishing touches to design a unique arrangement. Learn tips to care for your arrangement year-round including seasonal water needs and sunlight. All materials and a glass of wine are provided. All participants will also enjoy 10% off bottles of Brander wines. Start times are 12:00pm and 1:30pm. Please be sure to sign up for your preferred time as each class is a separate Eventbrite event. Looking forward to meeting you!

(Additional times may be added to meet demand. Those under 21 years old are permitted to participate in workshop without wine. Valid ID required for alcohol consumption. Please contact ashley@turquoisesucculents.com)

Details: Brander Vineyard, 2401 North Refugio Road, Santa Ynez. Event details here 

Saturday, May 11 & Sunday, May 12: Mother’s Day Wine and Cupcake Pairing Experience 

Mom deserves a sweet treat! Join us on Mother’s Day Weekend to celebrate everyone’s favorite woman. Visit three wineries, enjoy a delightful picnic lunch and a friendly guide with transportation to and from your accommodation. All included in the price.

Details: Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours, (805) 884-9283. Event details here 

Sunday, May 12: Mother’s Day Painting in the Vineyard at Brander Winery

Are you looking for a new experience in wine country while spending quality time celebrating a mother in your life? Then come paint in the vineyard with Gypsy Studios and put a creative twist on your next Mother’s Day gift. You’ll spend the morning sipping delicious Brander wines and capturing the beauty of the vineyard on canvas. Our painting in the vineyard classes provides a beautiful, stress-free environment that will both inspire your creative spirit and indulge the wine-lover in you. Don’t consider yourself an artist just yet? Don’t worry. Our trained artist will walk you through the entire painting process step-by-step. No previous painting experience necessary. You’ll be amazed at what you can create in just a few hours- even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush in your life!

Bring your friends and family, pack a picnic and grab a wine glass and a paintbrush!

$65 per painter – includes wine tasting, a Gypsy Studios stemless wine glass, plus all art materials and instructions for you to create your one-of-a-kind masterpiece!

Event is from 11:00am – 2:00pm

Details: Brander Vineyard, 2401 North Refugio Road, Santa Ynez. Event Details Here

Mother’s Day Brunches, Sunday, May 12, 2019

Here are a few top places to treat mom to a memorable brunch, complete with sparkling wine and the extra gift of gorgeous views. Advance reservations required.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Mad & Vin, 7:30am -11:00am; 12:00-4:00pm

Mad & Vin at The Landsby will be open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Mothers Day, May 12th. Patio seating available.

Details: Mad & Vin, 1576 Mission Dr, Solvang, (805) 688-3121.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Root 246, Sunday, May 12, 2019, 9am to 2pm 

On Sunday, May 12, Root 246 will boast a four-course Mother’s Day Brunch menu, served from 9:00am to 2:00pm, followed by regular dinner service in the dining rooms starting at 5:00pm. Reservations for the May 12 Mother’s Day Brunch, or dinner, at Root 246 may be made in advance by contacting the restaurant at 805.686.8681, or via OpenTable: www.opentable.com/root-246-at-hotel-corque.
Four-course, prix fixe menu: Adults, $65.00++. Kids menu available, $16.00++ (ages 12 and under).

Details: Root 246, 420 Alisal Road, Solvang, (805) 686-8681

Mother’s Day 2019 Menu at Bob’s Well Bread, 7:00am – 3:00pm

    • Eggs Benedict (Your choice of Fresh Crab or Prosciutto Benedict), served with our house-made Hollandaise, spicy house-made Rooster sauce, crispy potatoes and fresh berries
    • Pastry of Choice from our Pastry case (based on availability)
    • Mimosa
    • Prix Fix: $35 per person

Details: Bob’s Well Bread, 550 Bell St, Los Alamos, (805) 344-3000

The Bear & Star Mother’s Day Brunch, 11am to 3pm

The Bear and Star welcomes guests to celebrate the moms in their life on Sunday, May 12 with a Mother’s Day brunch. This buffet-style meal will include a variety of classic brunch items as well as signature dishes from the culinary team at The Bear and Star. Guests with a sweet tooth will enjoy cornbread, coffee cake, scones, muffins, pancakes, cinnamon rolls and much more. Savory offerings include the restaurant’s signature deviled ranch eggs, smoked salmon, baked brie, griddled sausage, smoked pork tenderloin, quiche, macaroni and cheese, a carving station and more. ($60 for adults, $25 for children 12 and under)

Details: The Bear & Star, 2860 Grand Ave, Los Olivos. Event Details Here

Extra Treats

The menus are still being finalized, but you can count on delicious Mother’s Day brunches & lunches at Santa Ynez Valley favorites like S.Y. Kitchen (Santa Ynez), The Chumash Casino Buffet (Santa Ynez), Plenty on Bell (Los Alamos), and Industrial Eats (Buellton).

Mother’s Day at Sweetzer Cellars, Sunday, May 12, 2019, 11am to 5pm

Sweetzer Cellars will be open on Mother’s Day and offering complimentary tastings to all mothers. Even the mother of dragons. Especially the mother of dragons.

They will also be donating 10% of sales to No Kid Hungry and Wrenn Rescues (a Ventura County kitten rescue organization) – purchaser’s choice of charity.

Details: Sweetzer Cellars, 308 #C North 9th Street, Lompoc. 

Mother’s Day with live music by Brady Harris at Kalyra Tasting Room, 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Join us at 140 Industrial Way in Buellton at the Kalyra Tasting room and listen to the lovely voice and ukelele tunes by Brady Harris– our most requested musician. Bring a picnic and spend the day tasting wine; Moms get a complimentary glass of champagne. Wine by the glass and bottle available for purchase to 21+. Hours Noon – 4:00pm.

Details: Kalyra Tasting Room, 140 Industrial Way, Buellton, (805) 693-8864, Event Details

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!! 💐

About Visit Santa Ynez Valley: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best places to eat in Solvang, best Santa Ynez wineries, and lists things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at https://www.visitsyv.com for complete visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations.

VisitSYVAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.