Saturday, March 3, 2012

Santa Ynez Wine Tasting

What a truly wonderful Saturday! Terry and I woke up at the not-too-early, not-too-late time of 7:45 and leisurely prepared for our run. It was HOT in LA today, and even at 9:00 we felt the dry heat sucking all moisture out of our skin and vital organs. Too dramatic? Well, it was a rough one. We drank lots of water yesterday and last night, drank water before our run, and drank water during our run, but we both felt dehydrated the entire time. Any runners our there have suggestions for running in heat? It's only March! Anyway, while it felt terrible, the numbers don't look bad:

I definitely needed a LOT more rest stops throughout the run, but Terry chose a great route. We ran all the way to 4th Street, right above Santa Monica's famous 3rd Street Promenade. And the entire time, we kept saying that we'll be doing our 8-mile run next weekend in Hawaii!! Talk about hot, right?

After our run, I cooked up some eggs and bacon wrapped in a tortilla.
Excellent protein to refuel!

And then we were off to Santa Ynez for wine tasting!

Terry and I love to visit Santa Ynez and have returned about three times per year since our first visit in 2007. We have a few must-see spots that we absolutely recommend for anyone visiting the California Central Coast.

A: Bridlewood Winery
B: Panino
C: Carhartt
D: Foley Estates Winery
E: Lincourt Winery

Happy, relaxing Saturday!

Bridlewood Winery
Bridlewood, known mostly for its phenomenal syrahs, always provides at least two or three syrahs on its tasting list. The reds and blends are our favorites, but we've also found a few whites that we enjoy. The grounds are also truly beautiful, with places to picnic and a horse track below the main grounds. If you become a member, Bridlewood hosts fantastic parties with food, barrel tastings, and opportunities to meet other wine lovers! I think our favorite thing about Bridlewood is the excellent service we receive every time we visit.

Bridlewood Winery

Panino Sandwich Shop

Panino is our favorite lunch spot in Santa Ynez. They have locations in Santa Barbara and Solvang as well, but our favorite is in Los Olivos. My favorite sandwich is the Roast Turkey (#1), which includes the most incredible honey mustard and generous amounts of turkey. Panino has indoor and outdoor seating, some beer and wine options, and a friendly staff.

Enjoyed at Carhartt

Carhartt is a small winery (and very small tasting room!) in Los Olivos. It's completely family-run, and today we were served by mom and son. You won't get better quality service than here. The little patio in the back was the perfect setting for our lunch today!

Foley Wines
We can't say enough good about Foley. It's a little out of the way, but the beautiful drive and seriously delicious wines make it worth the trek. Foley is known more for its red wines, and they are excellent. We like the staff, wines, and the fact that joining the club gives us reciprocal benefits at Foley's sister wineries.

Lincourt Wines
Lincourt was one of our favorites when we first started visiting Solvang, and it's one of the sister wineries to Foley. It is one of the few Central Coast wineries we've found that specializes in white wines. The reds are decent, too, but the sauvignon blanc and chardonnay are particularly great. We've gotten to do several barrel room tastings at Lincourt, which is always great. Our only complaint here is that it gets very crowded (all wineries do, on Saturdays), and the staff tends to appear overwhelmed. Sometimes we get poor service, which is frustrating as wine club members. On the other hand, the grounds are lovely for picnics, and the location is very near the miniature horse farms, which, as my dad says, are "the cutest damn things!"

Andersen Bakery - in the town of Solvang. Delicious and fresh Danish pastries and cookies.
Aebleskiver - at Solvang Restaurant, these sweet treats are similar to waffles or pancakes and are topped with a raspberry jam and powdered sugar.
Paula's Pancakes - Terry's dad grew up near Santa Ynez and introduced us to this terrific restaurant, popular among the locals for Sunday breakfast.

If you have suggestions for must-see places in Santa Ynez, please comment below for readers to see!

1 comment:

  1. Wow I'm glad you enjoyed the valley. You guys are a beautiful couple. If you guys are ever interested in a wine tour, or know of anyone that is give us a ring or check my website out.