A little Sideways

Santa Barbara County is the setting for the movie Sideways. Downtown Solvang is the center of the area for places to stay although Miles stayed outside of Solvang in Buellton.  This charming Danish Village has tasting rooms and restaurants.  Breakfast at the Solvang Restaurant where trying the Aebleskivers is a must.  Our journey into this bit of wine country was slightly different than planned.  After a night at The Morgan (very nice) in San Simeon, we drove into San Luis Obispo.  I had never been through the town.  When we were touring, we played the college, which had no loading dock and I remember pushing road boxes through mud.  So, not fond memories.  The downtown is adorable.  While we just drove through it definitely looks worth returning to.  We drove through town and stopped at Edna Valley Vineyards.

Edna Valley Winery Demonstration Gardens

They have a lovely demonstration garden out front and the tasting room is beautiful with a great view of the vineyards.  The tasting room is the Jack Niven Hospitality Center although the Niven’s are no longer associated with this winery.

We tried to stop by Saucelito Canyon but the sign in the window said Closed.  They are known for their Zins.  We opted to drive south and stopped at  Laetitia.

Laetitia Vineyard Sign

Laetitia Vineyard and Winery in the Arroyo Grande Valley California

As they are a sparkling house I was anxious to taste, even though Michael is not a sparkling kind of guy.  Their tasting room was hopping on a Tuesday morning!  Lots of wine club pickups happening, with everybody tasting.  The tasting room staff were very knowledgeable.

From here we headed to Orcutt to lunch at Addamo Vineyards tasting room.  They have a cafe and it was hopping with local traffic.   Evidently it is the place for lunch.  The home style Italian food was very good.  From here we tried to go to Costa de Oro but got lost with the GPS and just hit the Foxen Canyon Trail.  Our next stop was Foxen.  “The Shack” as they call it was everything I hoped it would be.  We were warmly welcomed by the tasting room staff as we walked up “Hey we’ve been waiting for you!”  We were also treating to a spotting of the bobcat that visits daily.  The wines here were phenomenal.  They were kind enough to give us a copy of the UC Davis tasting wheel and shared lots of great stories.  A few years ago they made a Merlot and they are no longer making it, because they cannot source the grapes any longer.  People keep coming back and asking for it!  (More on that later!) We thoroughly enjoyed our tasting here.  “the Shack” is considered Foxen 7200 (the address).  A little further up the road you will find the new facilities where they taste their pinots and chardonnays.  We were happy with our experience at the shack and continued on to stop at Curtis and then into Solvang.  We spent the night at the Hotel Corque.  The room was stunning and the hotel is filled with beautiful natural artwork.  The whole town was lit up for Christmas, so we wondered the city on foot searching for dinner.  We made our way to the other end of the town and then settled on the Solvang Brewing Company for dinner.  I had an incredible Ahi burger!  Full and happy we made the trek back to the hotel, bundled up in the California cold.  Time for a nap and then to see what tomorrow would bring.

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