I know…we were just there in April, but ya know, the wines in this area are really amazing! We are headed back first to the Funk Zone to visit some more tasting rooms. We have waxed poetic on ABC (Au Bon Climat) and Municipal Winemakers, now it’s time to explore some of the other Funky Wine Tasting rooms.
The plan is lunch at Pierre Lafond’s Wine Bistro on State Street for lunch and a flight. In 1962 Pierre Lafond opened the first winery in Santa Barbara County since prohibition. Mr. Lafond originally had a wine and cheese shop that became the place to be for Santa Barbara wine lovers.
He started Santa Barbara Winery and later Lafond Winery. So…we will taste some wine, have some lunch and maybe try a little of the new Kambucha made locally that is now on the menu. And hopefully we will find a seat out on the patio where we can absorb some of the State Street atmosphere.
After lunch we will head to Grassini Family Vineyards to do a chocolate pairing. They have a tasting room near ABC and Margerum. Their vineyards are located on the east edge of the Santa Ynez Valley in Happy Canyon. Oddly enough for this primarily Burgundian style region, they are growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, all Bordeaux varieties. I look forward to finding out why they decided to grow Cab and what makes their vineyard Cab friendly. They also have solar panels and are a gravity flow winery so I look forward to finding out more about that!
Then we head to the funkier part of Santa Barbara and stop by AVA Santa Barbara where I need to check out the amazing Elkpen murals of the region.
This winery is a wine geeks dream, the murals are all educational with details on the climate in each of the regions AVA’s. They have wines from each of the 5 AVA’s in the regions. They are owned by Seth Kunin of Kunin wines. This should be a great opportunity to get a little more of the details of the area under my belt, with a big map to guide me.
After that we will hit as many other tasting rooms as is feasible and plan to get a nice sunset time-lapse out at the Deep Sea Tasting room on Stearns Wharf that night. Kalyra, Santa Barbara Winery, Carr, Oreana, Kunin, Riverbench, and Pali…you could all see us knocking at your door! We will try!
Next stop Los Olivos!