Sunday, June 8, 2008

Santa Barbara - Wine Tasting

After a hot delicious frittata delivered to our room for breakfast, we finished getting ready to go on our wine tasting adventure in Santa Ynez. We were picked up by the grapevine shuttle and had a relaxing drive up to our first vineyard, Lincourt. The setting was beautiful. Originally a dairy farm, the 30 acre property retains the rural charm and simplicity of an earlier era. The quaint tasting room is located in the former farmhouse, a cute 1926 Sears Craftsman kit home. The wildflowers were so beautiful sprouting up between the vines, orange poppies and purple lupine.

Our tour guide, Erica, took great care of us, and dropped us off with our lunch at Bridlewood next while the rest of the group went to Firestone. Bridlewood is my favorite winery in Santa Ynez, and I was happy to share it with my friends. Cece spoiled there with four "off the menu" tastings since we are wine club members. No wonder why I love that place so much! I stocked up with some great Syrahs (2003 Blue Roan Syrah, 2004 Reserve Syrah, 2005 Rose, 2005 Arabesque). We then walked down to picnic by the ponds and horses with our gourmet sandwiches from Panino and a bottle of wine. Could it get any better than this? The driver then came back to pick us up so we could meet up with the rest of the group at Firestone.

Our third winery was Fess Parker. Another unbelievably beautiful place. Our last stop was Curtis Winery. We purchased several bottles of wine there (2005 Heritage Cuvée) , and cracked a few open for the ride back to Santa Barbara. The ride home, was definitely a different experience than the ride there. Wine was flowing, music was pumping, and everyone was letting loose. Needless to say, by the time we got back to Santa Barbara everyone was feeling pretty good.

We headed out to Chuck's Steak House for dinner. It was average. It had a casual Hawaiian, tiki atmosphere. Kim and I shared the King Crab Legs, but to be honest, the evening was a little foggy :-).


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