Naughty or nice lists are popular this time of year. And if you’re unsure of your standing with the man in the big, red suit, here's an idea that will be sure to get you on the right list in the Santa Ynez Valley.
With the Cuvée Pass you’ll be entitled to perks that are usually reserved only for members, benefits that include enjoying complimentary tastings and 20 percent off purchases at all three locations for a day.
Started in 1975, the Brander Vineyard, 2401 N. Refugio Road in Santa Ynez, is one of the early pioneers of the valley and the first to win a gold medal for a Santa Barbara County wine.
Its Italian fresco-style tasting room, reminiscent of Napa County, is like no other in the Santa Ynez Valley. When I first arrived I was greeted by the winery's sweet Corgi pup and friendly staff, and I immediately felt as if I were at home.
While sipping a cuvée, I learned about the history of Brander's winemaking, talked endlessly about food pairings, the perfect heirloom tomato salad, and how there simply is no other experience like sipping a sparkling wine in summer.
If you’re looking to be treated like family while experiencing award-winning wines, this is the place to be.
Roblar Winery, 3010 Roblar Ave., is quintessential Santa Ynez. With its rustic atmosphere and approachable wines, your inner country girl or guy won’t want to leave.
Roblar has created a delightfully unique visitor experience with a seasonal pairing menu created by its chef, who uses local, seasonal ingredients, grown on the estate, to complement the flavors of the wines.
Whether pairing with Roblar’s 2010 Ottimo or 2011 Rousanne, your taste buds are in for a tantalizing experience in this expansive location.
Buttonwood, 1500 Alamo Pintado in Solvang, is a 106-acre organic farmland bought and founded in 1968. It's the perfect bucolic setting for kicking back and enjoying a perfected 2012 Savignon Blanc that boasts crisp citrus and garden herb flavors.
And while you’re there don’t miss your chance to snatch up a bottle or two of Buttonwood's limited release 2009 Trevin wine. This full-bodied wine is perfect for pairing with any winter comfort food and a fireplace.
The Cuvée Pass, which is valid until March 1, can be purchased at any of the three wineries. It's the perfect experience for anyone looking to entertain guests this holiday season. And if you’re lucky, it might just put you on someone’s nice list this year.
— Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.