After a blissful 4 days in Cabo San Lucas (post to come), I jetted off to Santa Barbara to meet my mom and best family friends for a few days of California adventure.
While in Santa Barbara we explored the Santa Ynez wine growing region and the local wineries. After doing some research, I found that there were 2 options for wine tasting in the area, the first being the Urban Wine Trail. Located 1 block off the beach in downtown Santa Barbara, there are tasting rooms for over 15 wineries all located in a 6 block radius. The second option is to travel about 45 minutes north of SB to Los Olivos, a 2 block junction with dozens of tasting rooms. There are also a few actual vineyard/wineries just outside of town that are available for tasting as well.
We sampled a bit of both! One night before dinner we walked down to the "Funk Zone" to check out a few wineries on the Urban Wine Trail. First stop was Municipal Winemakers, thanks to the recommendation of Samantha and her SB Black Book. Such a cool space, unfortunately they didn't have any white wines to taste and although I've gotten Mom to branch out beyond chardonnay, reds are still not in her repertoire. So we walked next door to Kunin and I'm so glad we did. We did the classic white tasting and I really enjoyed everything we tasted. My favorite was the 2009 Roussanne. A varietal that I'm not the most familiar with, it had a rich and creamy mouth feel, but was well balanced, without any particular over-powering flavor. The wine was made in 100% stainless steel allowing the natural aromatics of this varietal shine through. It would be a perfect wine with charcuterie and cheese or a fish dish. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding the wine for sale online, but we bought directly from the tasting room.
The next day we took the drive up to Los Olivos and made a stop at Beckman Vineyards. They were in the middle of processing the last of the Cab so we got to taste freshly picked grapes as well as the wine. Reminded me of home and those early mornings on the Ranch where we would watch the crews pick grapes before school. The wines weren't great, but the setting was nice and they have picnic tables if you wanted to bring your own food and enjoy some wine with a view.
More highlights from Santa Barbara to come!
Wine: 2009 Kunin Roussanne
Purchased: Kunin Tasting Room
Would buy again: Yes!