Wine tasting and touring in the Santa Ynez Valley is a don’t-miss experience and a feast for the senses. Meander over sage-scented rural roads with a stunning backdrop of oak-studded golden hills. Stroll through vibrant vineyards and sip, swirl and savor the flavors. With four distinct American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) sprawling from the Santa Ynez Valley, more than 1 million cases of wine are produced annually – including the following ever popular and unique varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. Most of the 120+ wineries located here are small boutique operations and many are family-owned and operated. Visitors enjoy the area’s strong rural flavor and tasting world-class wines in an unpretentious, friendly atmosphere where it’s not unusual to end up chatting with the winemaker or owner – either at the winery or in-town tasting rooms. It’s all within a 2- to 20-minute walk or drive, with many lodging options close by. You can design your own itinerary, or sign up with a local tour company for a professionally guided tour in a limo, jeep, van, private sedan or even a bike.