After spending a fun day in Santa Barbara on Thursday, we drove the 45 minutes north to Los Olivos (while having a dance party in the car) where we made a quick stop at a local grocery store for essentials (wine and cheese) before checking into our house. It is a three bedroom, three bathroom house located within walking distance to the town (which came in very handy). And it is absolutely gorgeous.
The house was impeccably designed and curated down to the last detail. The style is California wine country chic meets Fixer Upper modern farmhouse. Both cozy and beautiful. Modern and vintage. Not to mention the fact that it boasts multiple outdoor patios. Basically my dream house.
I took a few photos, but they in no way do it justice. The ones on the listing are much better. Also, the house we rented is the largest on a ranch with multiple rental properties, and they all look amazing! I can't wait to go back at some point to stay for a whole week.
On Friday we scheduled a wine tour in the Santa Ynez Valley along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. We opted to book the tastings ourselves and hire a wine DD service to drive our rent car. This area is much more low-key than Napa, so you really don't need reservations for most of the tastings, but it was nice to have everything arranged before we arrived.
Our first stop of the day was at Koehler. They have a beautiful property with lots of outdoor areas to sit and enjoy the wine, and the tasting was a great value with seven wines for $15.
Our second stop was Fess Parker. It is one of the more well-known wineries in the region, and the family also owns a couple tasting rooms in Los Olivos as well as the beautiful Fess Parker Inn and Wine Country Cabins.
I think this was my favorite winery of the day. The wine was wonderful, and the grounds were stunning!
We had a private tasting on the patio. The service was great, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.
After our tasting, we grabbed one of the picnic tables on the expansive lawn and enjoyed the lunch that our driver picked up for us from Panino. This may have been one of our best decisions of the trip. Those sandwiches were legit!
Next we visited Demetria Estate, a beautiful Tuscany-inspired venue located up on a hill overlooking a gorgeous property.
We spent a long time relaxing on their patio, sipping on wine, and playing cornhole down the hill.
We were scheduled to visit Rancho Sisquoc for our last stop, but we were running out of time and, thanks to a recommendation from our driver, we ended our tour at Bridlewood.
We opted to get glasses of wine instead of a full tasting, and we enjoyed them on the back lawn that overlooked the horse track. Just like the entire day, we were surrounded by absolutely gorgeous views. It was a wonderful way to end our tour of the valley.
After a quick stop at the house (we learned our lesson in Napa regarding long breaks between wine tours and dinner.), we walked to town for cocktails and dinner at Sides Hardware.
The restaurant, which is housed in an a building that was originally built as a hardware store in 1901, had come highly recommended by several folks. The meal was amazing, and the mac and cheese was next-level good!
Due to a tiiiiiiny bit of wine consumption that day, we took some lovely photos on our walk home.
Erin's Clueless photo.
After returning to the house, it was time for a dance party and some other shenanigans. I really wish (or maybe not) that we had video.
At that point, it was clearly time to call it a night.
Up Next: Our final day of the trip, which we spent exploring the adorable town of Los Olivos.