Santa Ynez area
What: '06 La Rinconada Vineyard Chardonnay
Other: The brand new tasting room is open; gets large crowds on weekends but the weekdays are quiet.
What: '05 Syrah/Grenache
Other: Several different types of large format wine were available, which is unusual to find.
Where: Alma Rosa
What: '06 Santa Barbara County Pinot Gris & '06 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Other: Organically grown grapes and an eco-conscious approach to business. All wines are screwcaps.
Where: Tastes of the Valleys
What: '05 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, "Isabelle" & '06 Breggo Cellars Pinot Noir
Other: The staff in the tasting room is wonderful and the wine list is extensive.
Paso Robles area
What: '06 The Orphan red wine blend
Other: Beautiful grounds and a large tasting room. The "Isosceles" wine, which is biggest seller, is not on the tasting menu however.
Where: Tablas Creek
What: '05 Mourvedre
Other: French-style wines made in CA. In addition to the Mourvedre, the Esprit de Beaucastle wines were also fantastic. Free bottled water available. Tasting fee waived with a purchase.
What: '05 Viognier & '05 Tempranillo
Other: Fun, friendly laid back atmosphere and staff. They also served the best snacks. No tasting fee.
What: '04 Port
Other: Reported to be the most fun winery and looks like it could be, but the staff sucked.
Where: Tobin James Cellars
What: '05 Syrah "Rock-n-Roll" & Sparkling "Dream Weaver" wine
Other: Lively atmosphere. If you ask, you can get tastes of wines that are not on the tasting menu. No tasting fee.