Monday, January 22 , 2018, 7:18 am | Fair 43º


Tara Jones

Tara Jones Haaf: Bottlest Offers DIY Wines and Top-Shelf Cocktails


The sleepy town of Buellton isn’t exactly known for its nightlife or myriad places for fine dining — until now.

Terravant’s newly redesigned winery, bar and bistro, Bottlest, is changing the way wine tours are done and offering top-shelf cocktails with late-night fine dining to boot.

My suggestion is to spend an afternoon and evening at Bottlest and let them make your wildest winemaker dreams come true.

Walk through the largest wine production facility in Santa Barbara County to see just how all those wines go from grape to bottle.

Terravant is projecting 600,000 cases with a capacity of 1 million-bottle production for 2017, boasts 2 percent of wine production in the United States, and has staff in place ready to educate the everyday person on the ins and outs of wine production.

Tour the facility for $25, ending with a bottle of your own wine blend in hand or go big with an extended barrel-tasting tour that includes six additional wine tastings for $35. Tours run daily at 1 p.m.

Think you’ll want more than just one bottle of wine? DIY to your heart’s content, including label design, at the rock bottom price of $4.95 per bottle.

Next, grab a seat at the bar upstairs (formerly Avant restaurant and bar) and enjoy a craft cocktail while listening to live music performances from such musicians as rock-'n'-roll veteran Mark Terry.

Bottlest’s bar program, headed up by Mike Kastan, offers unique and tasty cocktails like the Cherry & Chili Smash. Made with Rittenhouse rye, fresh cherries and Fresno chili pepper simple syrup, this drink is the perfect blend of spice and summer that drinks like a session whiskey.

Stay for dinner and feast on fine dining dishes paired with your choice of 52 types of pay-per-sip wines that line the far wall of the restaurant.

Looking for that perfect after-dinner drink? Try the Espresso Martini made with Absolut vodka, Kahlua and freshly brewed espresso.

Bistro hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Live music is every Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Click here to order your own DIY wine online.

— Tara Jones Haaf leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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