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Happy Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving in the Santa Ynez Valley, 2020 Edition

Thanksgiving 2020

There’s no getting around it – Thanksgiving is going to look different this year. While many of us will be Zooming in with friends and family across different dinner tables in 2020, several restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley have been diligently putting together take-out and outdoor dining options to serve the needs of regional guests and Valley residents.

See below for a current list of Thanksgiving offerings in the Santa Ynez Valley. Reservations highly recommended, please call restaurants directly to confirm offerings are still available.

 

Thanksgiving Dinner

First & Oak
(805) 688-1703
Set Seatings at 4:00 PM, 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM, & 7:00 PM
View menu here
Reservations required, almost sold out!

Ballard Inn Gathering Table
(800) 638-2466
3 – 8 PM reservations advised

Norman at the Skyview Los Alamos
(805) 344-0104
Featuring a 3 course prix fixe menu for $65, includes gluten free and vegetarian/vegan options.
Make reservations here

Petros Winery
(805) 680-5417
Special Thanksgiving Menu available
Make reservations here
2:00pm – 8:00pm

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott (takeout)
(805) 688-1000
View menu here
With two helpful options to choose from, The Little Feast serves 4-6 people and The Big Feast can feed up to 10. Each option comes with herb roasted turkey, sumptuous sides and a spiced pumpkin pie. Plus for just a little more you can add spiral cut honey ham or a pecan pie from their a’la carte menu! Just follow their simple heating and serving instructions for a delicious dinner.

Orders must be in by 8pm on Friday, November 20th by calling (805) 688-1000. Food can be picked up from the hotel on Wednesday, November 25th between 11am-2pm or Thursday, November 26th from 9am-1pm.

Chumash Casino Resort (takeout)
Enjoy an oven roasted turkey dinner accompanied with flavorful sides like maple glazed carrots and buttery pull-apart rolls, and your choice of pumpkin or apple pie! Reserve your meal in person at Grains & Grounds now through Friday, November 20.

Louise’s Kitchen Table – To Go at the Castle (takeout)
(805) 403-9649
For takeout, visit Louise’s Kitchen Table To Go at the Castle for “Everything but the turkey.” Appetizers, sides and desserts must be pre-ordered by Sunday, November 22nd.
Preview the menu here.

Mad & Vin at The Landsby (available for hotel guests of The Landsby and Santa Ynez Inn only)
Mad & Vin at The Landsby has a special Thanksgiving dinner available for guests only of The Landsby and sister property, Santa Ynez Inn. Contact the hotels directly to make both hotel and dinner reservations:
The Landsby: 805-688-3121
Santa Ynez Inn: 805-688-5588

Breakfast /  Lunch / Treats / Charcuterie

The Baker’s Table
(805) 688-4856
7:30am – 11:00am
The Baker’s Table will be offering breads, pastries, coffee, pies and rolls on Thanksgiving morning

Good Seed Coffee Boutique
(805) 693-2132
Open 7 AM-12 PM
Pre orders due 11/21
Pre-Order pick up available 11/24-11/26. Some gluten free or vegan.

Olsen’s Bakery & Cafe
(805) 688-6314
Open 7 AM – 1 PM

Old Danish Fudge Kitchen
(805) 688-9932
Open 9 AM – 4PM

Red Viking
(805) 688-6610
Open 9 AM – 4 PM

The Lucky Hen Larder
9:30am – 11:30am
(805) 691-9448
We are open for cheese/charcuterie board pre-order pick-up and window service for cheeses, charcuterie and artisan goods.

Wineries / Tasting Rooms / Brewpubs with Meals

Copenhagen Sausage Garden
(805) 697-7354
Open 11 AM – 9 PM

Rosenson Wine Creations / Coquelicot Estate Wines
(805) 688-1500 
11AM to close (call ahead to confirm)
Regular and Reserve Flights will be available

The Good Life
(805) 688-7111
11am – 4pm
We have the perfect local beer and wine pairings for your holiday table. Enjoy a special holiday tasting and/or a glass on our patio or you can step inside the shop where we can assist you with all of your bottle needs to go.

The Hideaway Los Olivos
(805) 697-7892
10:00am – 2:00pm

 

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.


Experience the Great Outdoors in the Santa Ynez Valley

 

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.

An electric experience: There’s a new way to see Solvang USA in all its Danish glory, and that’s from the comfort of an open air vehicle. The eMoke is an all-electric vehicle that boasts zero emissions, chic styling, and a range of eye-catching colors. Trust us, it’s an Instagrammable ride. With its open-air body styling, the eMoke offers great sightseeing capabilities and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after transport experiences available in Solvang.

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.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.


The Place to be Midweek

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, making weekdays the newly coveted, quiet time to visit.

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 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. By visiting Sunday – Thursday, you’ll get 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.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.

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 2020, 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 year has 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.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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

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Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.

Santa Ynez Valley Events


A Day in Solvang

Windmill
An office with a view

I love walking the city of Solvang in the morning. In the 2 ½ months I’ve been in the Santa Ynez Valley, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this Danish City and its inhabitants. It’s not the Disneyland I visited with my family as a child, and it has not been taken over by the wine industry. The people are genuine, friendly, and welcoming. It is one of the most walkable cities I have experienced. Not only are there bakeries (5), wine tasting rooms (19) and now Solvang Brewing Company (I’ll talk about the burgeoning craft beer scene in the SYV in a future blog), but great restaurants, shopping, parks and museums.

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Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.


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.


Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.


June weekend getaway in Santa Ynez Valley

Top Reasons to Spend June in the Santa Ynez Valley

According to the song from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel, “June is bustin’ out all over!” That is so true right here in Santa Ynez Valley that we don’t know if one month can even hold all the fun we have in store! Our towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang have put together some great activities to get your summer off to a rollicking start. We’ve got reasons galore for you to schedule a June weekend getaway in Santa Ynez.Summer Pass

One of the things people like to do most on a visit to Santa Ynez Valley is enjoy samples of some of the local wines, but that can be difficult to accomplish in just one weekend. That’s why the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association is offering The Summer Pass. Take your time and enjoy samples at various tasting rooms throughout the Santa Ynez Valley for just $45, through August 31, 2017.

And don’t miss the Solvang Third Wednesday celebration on June 21. This is a day to walk, shop, wine and dine – all in the village of Solvang:

  • Participating Solvang wine tasting rooms, wine bars and beer bars offer a special discounted tasting opportunity with the Solvang 3rd Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk (3-7p.m.), where you can enjoy 2 tastings at 5 places of your choice, for just $20 per person.
  • Participating Solvang merchants offer 3rd Wednesday deals on merchandise and the Solvang Farmers Market offers freshly-harvested produce and gourmet goods.
  • Select Solvang restaurants feature a special 3-course Solvang 3rd Wednesday menu. The 3-course menus include ingredients sourced straight from the Market.
  • Since it is the “longest day of the year,” we’ll be celebrating “Midsommer Musik” with free, live music throughout the Village of Solvang, from 12 noon to 12 midnight.

But wait, there is more!

Dads, Grads, Olives and More June Activities in Santa Ynez Valley

There are plenty of fun events in Santa Ynez Valley all month long, but don’t miss these special June activities in the Santa Ynez Valley:

  • Three Cheers for Dad! Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18, but instead of another tie this year why not spoil dad with a trip to Santa Ynez Valley? What does he like to do most? Whether he enjoys beer, wine, great food, golf, biking, hiking, gaming, or just spending time with his loving family, we can make it all happen right here.
  • Congratulate the Graduate! If your amazing student is graduating from high school or college, bring him or her to Santa Ynez Valley for a celebration weekend. We can hook you up with some great family adventures like horseback riding, hot air ballooning, or even soaring.  
  • Father’s Day “BBQ-Out-Back”: Follow the Father’s Day BBQ signs to The Bear and Star’s back garden for a casual and social barbecue picnic experience. Guests will enjoy a “down home” cooked meal prepared from our 30′ custom reverse-flow Texas smoker and view the tender meats and treats coming hot off the grill. Musical artist Colby Lee Huston will perform throughout the day in the back garden. No reservations are accepted for this event and seating is unreserved group seating at picnic-style tables. The Bear and Star will also be serving our complete fresh ranch menu on Father’s Day for lunch and dinner in the restaurant. 
  • Community Day At Wildling Museum: Free admission day to the Wildling Museum. You can see current exhibits, shop the gift store, buy work by the feature local artist and get creative at the drop-in art activity. A fun family event. (All day on Wednesday June 21st, 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463, Free admission, Call (805) 686-8315) more info here.
  • Let the Romance Begin! We can’t tell you how many people fall in love in the Santa Ynez Valley. With our balmy days, romantic nights, and welcoming communities, it’s hard not to. Whether you’re new to a relationship, getting engaged, getting married, going on a honeymoon, or celebrating an anniversary, this is the place to be. We’re here to help plan a joyous bachelorette party, an elegant wedding at one of the local vineyards or venues, or the most romantic honeymoon ever.
  • Old Santa Ynez Day is a fun-raising day for local schools. Join us June 10 for this long-standing day of festivities in downtown Santa Ynez featuring a parade, booths, food and FUN. Organized by Santa Ynez Valley Elks Lodge #2640.
  • Enjoy the Sport of Kings: The 6th Annual SYV Polo Classic returns to Piocho Ranch at Happy Canyon Vineyard in Santa Ynez on June 24. All guests are invited to dress for the occasion, with creative hats for the ladies encouraged. At the conclusion of the featured match, an awards ceremony is conducted at midfield for guests to gather, mingle with the players, and view the presentation of awards.
  • The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cooking Demo and Lunch – Saturday, June 10th, Noon – 2:00 The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook is a must-have for anyone who loves to camp in style and enjoys delicious food prepared in the great outdoors. And now the Gourmet Girls, as well as Buttonwood’s own Gourmet Girl At Large (Seyburn Zorthian) will take you on a virtual campout under the beautiful Buttonwood trees. See the demo, taste the results and pair with estate grown wines. Ticket price includes lunch with wine and a copy of the cookbook, which the Gourmet Girls will be happy to sign.
  • Movies in the Park – Friday, June 16, at Buellton Oak Park, 401 Sycamore Drive, Buellton. Friday, June 23, at Solvang Park, corner of Mission Drive & First Street, Solvang. Fun starts at 7:30pm. Movies start at dark. Fun for the whole family with fresh popcorn and hot chocolate. Bring a blanket or chairs. Call (805) 688-PLAY for showings.

Movies in the Park

  • The Pacific Conservatory Theatre presents the enchanting “Beauty and the Beast” at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater from June 15 through July 2, 2017. You’ll be swept away in this “tale as old as time.” The Broadway musical tells the story of Belle, who feels trapped in a provincial town, and a prince who is trapped under the spell of an enchantress in the form of a Beast. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the spell will be broken and he will be returned to his former self. If not, he and his household will be doomed for all time. There is a Father’s Day Special happening on Sunday, June 18. Take Dad to the theatre and enjoy 25% off the adult single ticket.. Order online and use coupon code BEAUTY18 (no limit).

The Pacific Conservatory Theatre presents the enchanting “Beauty and the Beast”

Just when you’ve caught your breath from June, it’s time to start thinking ahead. Make plans now to celebrate the 4th of July with us, and don’t forget the annual celebration of Danish Days from September 15-17.

Danish Days

Visit our website at VisitSYV.com before coming to the Santa Ynez Valley for a listing of Santa Ynez hotels and Santa Ynez Valley restaurants. You’ll also find a complete listing of things to do in Santa Ynez Valley, in case this hasn’t given you enough ideas!

 

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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.