Santa Barbara, California, USA


My perfect day in Santa Barbara

Drive to your first stop at the new Pali Tasting Room in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, close to the ocean...

Smoke Estate Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills, Santa BarbaraImage: Smoke Estate Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills © Rocco Ceselin


Drive to your first stop at the new Pali Tasting Room in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, close to the ocean. Pali offers a good exploration of New World Pinot with its wines from Oregon and California. The Santa Rita Hills Pinot is impressive (


Enjoy the oceanfront patio at the Four Seasons, a few miles away, and look out for whales. Order a bottle of Gavin Chanin’s exquisite Lutum Santa Barbara Pinot Noir.


Continue the scenic drive north deeper into Santa Barbara county. Next stop is Buellton for a private tasting at Jonata’s winery. The wines easily outshine the warehouse setting, and you’ll enjoy a rare opportunity to taste a range of terroirs from its award- winning and diverse portfolio (think sunny-climate Syrah and Sangiovese, and cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay). They’ll pour what’s showing best at the moment – not the current release – and you are likely to get some quality time with someone on the winemaking team. Appointments are a must (

Evening and overnight

A five-minute drive brings you to Los Olivos where you can leave the car as everything is within walking distance. Stop by the Qupé tasting room for a stellar selection of Rhône varietals, especially the Sawyer Lindquist Grenache and Roussanne wines. Then, cross the street to Mattei’s Tavern, where you can settle in for dinner after a glass at The Watering Hole there for a tasting of Sandhi wines. These are beautiful expressions of the Santa Rita Hills: Chardonnays with minerally backbones and Pinot Noirs with an enviable blend of fruit, spice and earth. Finally, it’s just a short stroll to the Fess Parker Inn, a boutique hotel where all rooms and suites have a fireplace.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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