Posts Tagged ‘Santa Ynez’
True Taste of Denmark for Our Private Tour from Los Angeles
A group of Danish settlers purchased a Mexican land grant in the Santa Ynez Valley back in 1911 and Solvang was officially a California town. Farming in the verdant valley supported the population and the town grew in size. Construction of the buildings, as can be seen in this tour photograph, emulated designs from the “old country” and a wonderful destination for visitors from all over the world came to be. We arrive in Solvang because many of our wine tours head to this area renowned (almost as notable as the Napa Valley) for its myriad appellations of fine wines. Our SIDEWAYS tour visits many of the wineries noted in the book and movie. However, a wonderful part of any tour to this area just north of Santa Barbara (and about 140 miles from Los Angeles) is a look around Solvang. Of course there are lots of wine stores but even better are the Danish bakeries. We always love directing our guests to try what we consider to be the best baked good there is, æbleskivers. Somewhere between a pancake and popover this baked doughball is served with jam or honey. Around this time of year one should enjoy their æbleskiver with a glass of gløgg (mulled wine). We can walk around to see a replica of the famed mermaid statue from Copenhagen and tributes to Hans Christian Anderson. Very close by is the Mission Santa Inés for our guests who might be traveling the mission trail through California. For our guests wanting to spend a day sightseeing out of Los Angeles we will always suggest a private tour of the Santa Ynez Valley for the beauty, the history, the wine and the æbleskivers.
A Tasty Private Tour of the Santa Ynez Valley
From a winery in downtown Los Angeles to numerous fine tasting rooms in nearby Malibu we can also drive, or fly in a luxury helicopter, south to the Temecula wine region or north to the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. That is a lot of wine tasting choices for our guests to ponder. We find that most often we are planning visits to Malibu and Santa Ynez. We make these tours often enough to specify them on our website. If our guests have a day to spend (or two) we like to suggest a SIDEWAYS tour up north to revisit the wineries of the novel, film and play. Like the Napa Valley, there are too many superb wineries to visit them all (though we like to try) so we plan our visit as we travel based on the inclinations of our guests. We can tell which wines they will most enjoy just by them telling us which wines they like to drink at home. And then we will include some experimentation to keep the trip interesting. From grapes in the fields to aging barrels in the cellars to bottles on the shelf – the entire life cycle of wine – each winery has stories to tell about themselves and about the wine industry in California, in particular this incredible valley in the southern part of the state. The Gainey Vineyard (top photo) is always a fun stop that pleases our wine loving guests. Producing fine California wine for more than 30 years the winery is lively and the tastings divine. We also are likely to stop at the Firestone Vineyards which are so beautiful you want to sip your wine and just look out at the vines all day. But there are more places to visit, more wines to sample and buy, and let’s not forget a good lunch at one of many fantastic restaurants that we know – with wine, of course.
Our Sideways Wine Tour Enjoys Fruit of the Vine
Los Angeles boasts a number of local vineyards and wineries so we can please our wine loving private tour guests and visit the immediate area for wine tasting on a sightseeing tour. However, we can also pull out all the stops and take our custom tour VIP guests up to the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara and retrace the route of the the characters of Rex Pickett‘s wonderful book (and Alexander Payne‘s award winning film) Sideways. As we are on a custom tour we can pull up to the signposts at the head of the valley and decide from there which wineries to visit as we sample the vintages across the valley floor. The tour is always open ended so we can visit as many tasting rooms as our guests desire. We also know some special dining rooms if a lunch or dinner stop is requested. We have plenty of room in our luxury SUVs for wine purchases. The drive up to the Santa Ynez Valley is beautiful with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the coastal mountains on the other. Lake Cachuma above Santa Barbara is as blue as the sky. Speaking of sky, we do not have to drive to this fabulous wine region. We have luxury twin-engine helicopters at our disposal to get us there in a jiffy. Of course, we will drive once there but flying means more time for wine tasting.
Our Custom Wine Tour Roams the
Santa Ynez Valley After the Harvest
We are fortunate being a luxury tour company that gets to visit the Santa Ynez wine region throughout the year with our private Los Angeles tour guests. We can enjoy all the stages of grape growing and wine making. Our most recent trip was just after the main harvest so we had the opportunity to see the vineyards neat and trimmed as all the activity moved into the many wineries located in this fertile area just north of Santa Barbara. Our guests always get to sample fine California wines which they find delightful, even a recent family who own their own winery in France. Now that summer traffic has slowed the drive up from Los Angeles is easy and fun (we might show the movie SIDEWAYS if our guests are interested). We even speak highly of Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways, who we know and can arrange to join us on a sightseeing expedition through his favorite wine territory. We have other wineries and grape growing areas all around Los Angeles (Malibu and Temecula, for example) and even a very large winery in downtown Los Angeles. Californians love their vino and we love taking Los Angeles visitors to taste all we have to offer.
A Summer Tour Can Happen All Year
in the Santa Ynez Valley
“Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring” is what can be said to go into the best summer wines. We can’t be too sure of that be we are certain that touring the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara (north of Los Angeles) is the best place to find out what makes a great summer wine. The hills are brown and there might be wildflowers in bloom but the many wineries in this fast growing viticulture region are open for business year round. We make most of our private wine tasting tours from Los Angeles during the summer but are fortunate to enjoy southern California’s great weather and can arrange custom luxury tours devoted to wine for our guests all through the year. The custom part of the tour means we can stop at whichever wineries capture our guests’ attention and we can eat wherever and whenever we want. We can even arrange a gourmet picnic… with wine, of course.
The Santa Ynez Valley Is Calling All Wine Lovers
for a Private Tour
How many wineries can we visit on our “Sideways” tour of the Santa Ynez Valley up the California coast past Santa Barbara? Always enough to satisfy our guests. There are plenty to choose from as anyone knows who has visited the area or remembers the movie. We offer our guests the opportunity to watch the film as we drive up from Los Angeles. We can then visit the wineries used in the making of the film. Or, we can defer to suggestions given to us by Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways, about places to visit and where to eat and drink (wine). Our most recent favorite stop is Transcendance in Lompoc, a small custom winery with great atmosphere. We love to find new places to visit every time we do this custom luxury tour.
Wine and Big Birds on a Private Adventure Tour
You might not think of the Santa Ynez Valley just north of Santa Barbara, CA as a significant wine region, though it is (have you not seen the film SIDEWAYS?). You might also not regard it is a major ostrich farming area either. A trip to this beautiful valley with us by private van or luxury helicopter will convince you otherwise. There are over 100 wineries throughout the valley bottling wonderful vintages made from more than 55 varieties of grapes. And there is one large ostrich farm, Ostrichland, in Buellton. Ostriches and emus of all ages and sizes roam the ranch. While you can buy ostrich eggs and meat in the gift shop, Ostrichland is a really a zoo environment where visitors can interact with the giant Australian birds and thoroughly enjoy the experience.
We can arrange a private wine country tour for you originating in Los Angeles, Hollywood or Beverly Hills. You may choose to fly to Santa Ynez by helicopter. Or, you can enjoy the scenic drive up along the Pacific shoreline and over the Coastal Range in our comfortable luxury van. We will even have a copy of SIDEWAYS that you can watch on the built-in 23″ flatscreen monitor. Even more special, we might be able to arrange to have Rex Pickett, the author of the novel Sideways join us on the trip and guide us through his favorite wine drinking destinations.