Let's talk about wine

by Ollie, 12/03/2014

Ever heard about the Santa Ynez Valley? No? Well, neither had we until we came to California, but we found out in a very pleasant way that it is another one of California's beautiful wine growing regions.

Last year on our trip to South Africa we did a lot of wine tasting on the go, which was a great experience but meant that one of us was driving the car and therefore couldn't fully appreciate the wine.
This time though we decided it would be a good idea to get driven around and both appreciate the wines on offer, so we booked a wine tour with a company called Sustainable Vine. 

Bryan, our highly knowledgable driver (about wines and surf!) drove ourselves and 3 American ladies around the  Santa Ynez Valley for the day and took us to several wineries.

The Santa Ynez Valley is also the stage for the movie 'Sideways' and before we got to some of the wineries that feature in it, Bryan showed us snippets of the movie. Very entertaining stuff, and also very funny to then see the places where the movie was shot. 

We tasted some beautiful pinot noir, cabernet, chardonnay and merlot wines. Amongst our favorites were the Pantheon and Viognier, both from the Demetria estate. The Demetria estate is set in beautiful surroundings and here we also enjoyed a very tasty lunch to go with our wines.

We finished our wine tasting endeavors in the Cimarone tasting room in the town of Los Olivos where they have some lovely bordeaux style wines.

Before leaving Los Olivos, Bryan showed us another fragment from 'Sideways' which was filmed in the town. It shows your man who is the lead player giving out about effin' merlot. Apparently this caused the sale of merlot to plummet worldwide. Poor merlot.

After this Bryan dropped us, only slightly polluted, off at our accommodation.

For those of you who want to go traveling in California, enjoy a good glass of wine, but don't want to get bankrupted by staying in the Napa or Sonoma Valleys, we highly recommend a visit to the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. And if you would like to visit the valley in comfort and with someone who knows his wines, than Sustainable Vine is an excellent choice.

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