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Business

Wining and Dining Along the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail

Its many wine-tasting rooms and restaurants are working to become a must-stop destination for visitors to the South Coast

One of the least-known attractions for South Coast visitors is the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, but that may change this summer as wine-tasting rooms try to brew up business and nearby restaurants update their menus.

It’s not just the 11 wine-tasting rooms on the trail, but the various restaurants and other nearby attractions that can allow tourists or residents to spend an entire afternoon walking to most of the businesses, enjoying wine samples, casual dining and shopping.

“The latest thing is the growler,” said the wine trail’s newest businessman, David Potter at Municipal Winemakers, 28 Anacapa St. “It’s a refillable, one-liter bottle priced around $20.”

Potter is not alone in marketing the growler. Ryan Carr at Carr Vineyards & Winery, 414 N. Salsipuedes St., also is offering the refillable container for his wines, which include some pinot noirs and a section of reds, whites and blends.

“Other wineries might offer them, too,” he said.

Carr manages more than a dozen vineyards from which he gets the grapes for his wines. He has run his winery with his wife, Jessica, for several years. The winery and tasting room are next to the newly opened Telegraph Brewing Co.

Potter said it’s better for all of the businesses if more tasting rooms are on the wine trail. Even though his winery and new tasting room make up his own business, Potter is on winemaking teams at Fess Parker Winery and Epiphany Cellars.

Ryan Carr, standing next to wine barrels at Carr Vineyards and Winery, manages more than a dozen vineyards.
Ryan Carr, standing next to wine barrels at his Carr Vineyards and Winery, manages more than a dozen vineyards from which he gets the grapes for his wines. (Ray Estrada / Noozhawk photo)

Seven of the tasting rooms on the wine trail are situated within a stone’s throw of one another, while others — Carr; Jaffurs Wine Cellars, 819 E. Montecito St.; Whitcraft Winery, 36 S. Calle Cesar Chavez; Wine Cask Alliance, 813 Anacapa St.; and Summerland Winery, 2330 Lillie Ave. — are outside what is known as the “funk zone.”

After opening his tasting room in January, Potter said the wine trail has become a key attraction for the funk zone. The area is home to a variety of restaurants, ranging from the Bay Café, the Fish House, El Torito, Red’s Barbecue, the Enterprise Fish Co., Rusty’s Pizza and Union Ale. The Bay Café recently to the corner of State and Yanonali streets from its longtime location on lower Anacapa Street.

Potter’s tasting room is in the same building as the Kunin/Westerly tasting room, which opened in early 2009.

The Oreana Winery & Marketplace, 205 Anacapa St.; Glessing Winery, Kalyra Winery, 212 State St.; and Santa Barbara Winery, 202 Anacapa St., also can be found in the funk zone, which is generally in the area of Anacapa and Yanonali streets. Tastings cost $5 to $10 and usually include four or five wines.

Most tasting rooms are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk contributor Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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