Santa Barbara Archives - Page 3 of 15 - Please The Palate
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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register. Visiting a wine region for the first time can be a daunting experience. For those of us who regularly visit wine regions, we forget how overwhelming it can be. For example, if you were heading to Napa for the first time, would you know the difference between Atlas Peak, Diamond Mountain District and Howell Mountain? Would you know if one area is better known for a grape variety than another? Would you know that the cabernet sauvignon from Atlas Peak has more cherry fruit and acidity than the cabernet sauvignon from Howell Mountain that has notes of blackberry and rich tannins? I have the privilege to travel to many wine regions. I regularly go to Santa Barbara, Napa and Sonoma, as well as some international areas, and over multiple visits have gotten to know these regions and what differentiates one designated AVA over another. I take for granted this knowledge and insight of Santa Barbara wine regions that I have, as I realized when I traveled there this past week with some friends. They had not spent significant time in Santa Barbara wine country, and it was an opportunity to delve into the diversity of the region. Being told about how the transverse mountain range affects the climates from Santa Maria to Happy Canyon is informative, but is difficult to truly comprehend without tasting. Of course, the ideal is to spend time in each AVA, tasting a few wines in each area in order to get a sense of place. But if time does not allow, there are two places that offer an opportunity to gain an understanding of the entire region in one place. The Valley Project
This story originally appeared in California Winery Advisor. Los Alamos – One Single Block Offering Days of Fun The town of Los Alamos is one block long. As you drive through the single main street, it will seem like you have entered an old pioneer town. It is almost like a movie façade. But look closely and you will see storefronts for wineries, restaurants and antique shops. This tiny town is a wine country destination. Los Alamos was a former stagecoach stop on the edge of the Santa Ynez Valley. A twenty-minute drive north of Solvang, Los Alamos was a sleepy town until a decade ago when refugees from Los Angeles arrived. Music industry, entertainment industry and fashion industry executives left their hectic city lives for the calmness of this little town. The town that used to be called “Los Almost” is now sometimes called “Little Los Angeles.” Los Alamos has also attracted young winemakers/entrepreneurs to set up shop there as the town, for the time being, is an affordable destination with unlimited potential.
This story originally appeared in California Winery Advisor. Urban Wine Tasting Napa, Sonoma, Santa Ynez Valley, what these places have in common is that they are wine regions. What they also have in common is that they are in close proximity to cities – Napa and Sonoma to San Francisco and Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara. While a trip to wine country is always welcome, these days you do not have to leave the city to go wine tasting. Both San Francisco and Santa Barbara offer urban wine tasting experiences, featuring the wines of the neighboring wine regions but with the convenience of being in the city. SANTA BARBARA Santa Barbara Wine Country is forty-five minutes north of the city of Santa Barbara. With Los Olivos, Solvang and the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, as well as all the estate wineries, there is plenty of wine tasting to be done in the area. But over the past few years, many of the wineries have been opening wine tasting rooms in downtown Santa Barbara, also known as “the American Riviera”. While there are no vineyards downtown, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean is appealing. With a unique range of tasting rooms in the city of Santa Barbara, your entire visit can be focused on wine or can be interspersed between eating, shopping and hanging at the beach.
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