Santa Barbara County is one of the coolest wine growing regions in California because of the fog and ocean breezes that flow into the valleys. The growing season is long, so the grapes have a long hang time on the vine, allowing the flavours to develop and gain complexity. There are five wine appellations in Santa Barbara County. The major ones are Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Rita Hills, with Los Alamos Valley and Happy Canyon being the lesser known appellations.
Some other resources on the region:
This is a neat site if you want to find out more about the locations filmed in the movie Sideways: http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/s/sideways.html
I'm sure that the people in the area are tired of hearing about this movie. But, it's just one of those things. It really helped put the region on the map. I didn't make it to Solvang on this trip. I did visit it a few months ago and it really is a fun little tourist trap. It's the cutest town.
|Foxen "wine shack"|
I could go back to the Central Coast again and again...
Maybe on my next trip to California, I'll do the Paso Robles region - Zinfandel country!