Santa Barbara County is one of the most diverse wine growing regions in the world. Whatever varietals you like, the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley offers wine tasters unparalleled quality and variety. Using our knowledge and experience, EOS Santa Barbara will design a personalized wine tasting tour for you, and unlock the secrets of the Santa Barbara vineyard scene.

Here is some background information about just a few of the vineyards and producers EOS loves to visit:



Babcock boasts a fun tasting room with lots to look at (retail and memorabilia – including a great vinyl collection), and the tasting room is right in the middle of the wine production area. I love the atmosphere, and they have some great wines.

Put simply, Babcock is a great place to go wine tasting. The tasting room is fresh, eclectic, soulful and full of objet trouvé and pieces of retro, vintage and industrial art and design. Add to that a great collection of vinyl and the means to play it, and you’ve suddenly got a room full of happy, laughing, toe-tapping people – and that’s before you’ve even started on the wine!

To be honest, the first time I walked into Babcock I thought here must be a place of style over substance – I thought that all the tchotchkes must be a compensation for mediocre wines. Oh, how wrong was that thought.

Bryan Babcock is a winemaker of huge talent and endless passion and his small production bottlings of unique, terroir driven wines should not be missed by anyone who loves wines from the Sta Rita Hills.

The prestigious James Beard Foundation once named Bryan to a list of “Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World,” with Bryan being the only American chosen for this oenological dream team. In choosing Bryan for this award, David Moore wrote, “Bryan Babcock best exemplifies the traits I look for in a great winemaker. The quality of Bryan’s wines speaks for themselves, yet it is his personal commitment to excellence that stands out so much. His relentless experimentation, his willingness to explore the possibilities with so many grape varieties, and his aesthetic are a world apart from the usual American approach to winemaking.”

In his farming, Bryan has developed a new concept, Agristhetics, which is the treatment of an agricultural domain as a piece of art. In pursuing his vision, Bryan has been focused on reforestation and the design of butterfly sanctuaries, along with the development of a whole new farming method that seamlessly integrates his vines with the forces of nature.



Respected wine critic, Robert Parker Jr, awarded Blackjack Ranch Winery just outside of Los Olivos a Five-Star rating for the production of Bordeaux varietals, stating “Blackjack Ranch Winery is one of the best-run wineries in Santa Barbara. Proprietor Roger Wisted clearly looks to France for his inspiration. His wines possess all the flavor of California yet more elegance and complexity than is typical for many of this state’s wines. Wisted fashions the finest Bordeaux blends of the region.”

Blackjack Ranch is the product of 30 years of imagination and preparation. At the age of 14, Roger Wisted began studying the wines and wine making of France and California. Two years later, he was fermenting small batches of wine in the produce section of his parent’s grocery store. By 17, he was collecting the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Passion for all aspects of wine enabled him to envision the character of the wines he eventually intended to produce. Blackjack Vineyard’s first production vintage was 1997 and the Blackjack Wine Tasting Room opened in 1999.

In The Wine Advocate, Parker “Proprietor Roger Wisted is a connoisseur of French wine, and there is no doubting those wines influence what he is trying to achieve from his hillside vineyard just outside of Los Olivos. His chardonnays are some of the finest from the region!”

The Blackjack tasting room is California Rustic, having been constructed from materials salvaged from the buildings which previously existed on Blackjack Ranch. It features a bar made from a bowling lane from the old Solvang Bowling Alley, and a temperature controlled wine cellar which displays “Hall of Fame” wines from California and France dating back over six decades of winemaking.

The SB Wine Wizard recommends: Harmonie Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Described by Parker as having “a saturated purple color to go with the spectacular notes of cassis, blackberries, singed leather, ink, and licorice. Big, full bodied and concentrated, yet not the least bit cumbersome , this terrific 2010 has loads of sweet tannin, notable freshness and purity and a blockbuster finish.”


Brick Barn Winery

This is a tasting room with style and panache, and though quite new they have a reputation for producing great wines.


Demetria is a family owned, boutique vineyard. Located in the back o’ beyond on Foxen Canyon Rd, at the end of a nearly 2 mile long driveway, stands this small gem of a winery. Sitting in their shady garden it is easy to forget you are in California at all, let alone just two hours from the hustle of Los Angeles. Peace seems to exude like a cool spring from the vine covered hillsides, and the gentle breezes caress your cares away.

We often have groups of bubbly, playful wine tasters request a stop at Demetria, but this is really a place best suited to people who have time to spare and a preference for drawn out, easy conversations over tastings that can last an hour and a half or more. The beauty, to me, of Demetria is its idyllic setting and its simplicity – there is just this garden, that could be in Tuscany or Umbria, and the wine. Coming to Demetria is like coming to your friends villa (there is no bar, just the kitchen) and hanging out with them while they tell you about the wines they love to make.

Described as “one of the hidden jewels in California” by Antonio Galloni, current owner John Zahoudanis fell in love with the location while searching for a wine estate in 2005. Still very much a family concern, John’s son Alexis has lived and worked on the estate full-time since 2009.  Together with winemaker Harry Waye, he craft’s limited production Rhone-style wines from their biodynamically farmed, 46 acre vineyard, and Burgundy-style wines using grapes sourced from trusted vineyards in cooler California appellations.

SB Wine Wizard recommends: 2017 Cuvee Papou.

This fresh, luscious blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc is packed with fruit flavors, predominant of which are grapefruit zest and pear, and delicate floral notes. It has a pleasant minerality, and an incredible persistence that gives it intensity and length on the finish. Drink lightly chilled all day long, or pair picnic style with candied walnut and goat cheese salad, or grilled salmon – yum!


Dragonette Cellars

Another of our favorite wine producers, and standout tasting rooms, in Los Olivos is Dragonette. Dragonette is the brainchild of brothers John and Steve Dragonette and close friend Brandon Sparks-Gillis. Their shared passion for great wine brought them to wild, windy and remote northern Santa Barbara County where they spent the next several years seeking out extraordinary, cool-climate vineyards and dedicating themselves to careful, patient, minimalist winemaking.

This band of friends have committed themselves to the mindful farming of precise blocks in exceptional vineyards for low yield / high quality grapes and to the shepherding of these grapes into wines of purity, complexity and balance. Given the remarkable climatic and soil diversity in Santa Barbara County, Dragonette Cellars produces small lots of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah of interest and distinction.

SB Wine Wizard recommends: “7” 2015 Syrah

Seven is Dragonette’s Syrah-based blend, originally named for the seven exceptional cool climate vineyard sites from which it was comprised. Here it is described in their own words – but take it from me, its delish.

“We have refined our vineyard sources for this wine over the years, selecting precise blocks and clones to increase aromatic and flavor complexity, rather than sheer fruit power.  The 2015 Seven is comprised of 93% Syrah, 6% Grenache and 1% co-fermented Viognier.  The wine is sourced from Stolpman Vineyard (40%), Kimsey (40%) and John Sebastiano Vineyard (20%).

We are thrilled with the performance of this wine, as it is already beginning to show off explosive, complex aromatics – red, blue and black fruits, spices and meats, a rich, yet lifted palate, smooth texture and a scintillatingly long finish for such a young wine. We expect this wine to continue to develop over the coming years and to last for well over a decade. Early reviews are spectacular, including a 92 in the Connoisseurs’ Guide, with more to come.”


Fess Parker Winery

Largest grounds in SB county – 714 acres. Pinots and Syrahs, along with beautiful winery.



Firestone is located in a unique region where moderate temperatures and an extremely long growing season enable them to successfully grow a staggering range of grape varieties. Their red wines have their origins in Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley and include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. Their whites include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer.

Style-wise, all Firestone’s wines are concentrated, ripe and beautifully balanced. In addition to varietal accuracy, they all carry the distinctive imprint of their terroir.

But what of the place? Located near the beginning of Zaca Station Rd, with beautiful views across the valley, Firestone is a wonderful mix of different hangout places to enjoy their popular wines. Sip on the beautiful patio, explore the romantic barrel room (can a barrel room be romantic? I say this one can!), rest at the bar in front of windows looking across vineyards to the hills in the distance, or sneak down to the terrace and drink in the beauty of a jasmine laden pergola. Firestone is a good vibe place with plenty for everyone – why stop at tasting wine here, you might as well go the whole hog and get married here!

SB Wine Wizard recommends: 2014 Proximity Twenty Six Cabernet Sauvignon

Firestone’s estate vineyards are set along a series of mesas composed of sandy loam with rocky sub-soils. These well-draining, low-nutrient soils minimize vine vigor, which leads to more concentrated and balanced varietal flavors. This delish Cab is a takes me to a dark place…a very good dark place, filled with rich fruit, leather and wood notes that open into a complexity of black cherry, anise, vanilla and allspice flavors on the palate, complemented by an impressive, lingering finish.



Kalyra is a translation from the Australian Aboriginal meaning ‘A Wild & Pleasant Place.’ Fitting as Kalyra Winery is nestled among hundreds of acres of rolling vineyards. Kalyra Winery combines a laid-back beachcomber’s vibe with some of the most sweeping views in the Santa Barbara wine country. Kalyra’s winemaker, Mike Brown was born and raised in Adelaide Australia and learned winemaking from his Dad. Mike came to the US to study at UC Davis and of course fell in love with the Gaviota Coast for its surf and the Central Coast for its wines.

Kalyra’s vineyards were planted in 1968 as part of the original ‘Vina de Santa Inez’— legendary in these parts for what many credit as the inaugural vineyard in Santa Barbara County.

Kalyra’s funky vibe attracted the attention of movie producers working on a comedy-drama film about the Santa Barbara wine country – Sideways. The movie, and its hugely successful release in 2004 thrust Kalyra into the national spotlight. Despite the publicity, Kalyra stayed true to its original roots of a laid-back atmosphere; an international flair blending the best of Santa Barbara varietals with Australia, Portugal, France and Spain; and value-priced wines that wine aficionados of all levels enjoy. We recommend taking a glass out onto the full length deck, letting your focus soften as you gaze across the valley, and remembering how sweet life can be when you slow the pace right down…

SB Wine Wizard recommends: We recommend the 2014 Cashmere. This blend of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Merlot is delicious, smooth and worthy of pairing with your favorite food.



Martian Vineyard is a (slightly) hidden gem, tucked into Alisos Canyon, but with a dedicated and vocal fan base. Approaching the tasting room over a small bridge you feel as if you are entering a secret realm…is this a homestead, a wild west trading post? No, it’s a super friendly, temple of passionately made, natural wine.

Farmed according to biodynamic principles, the wine they produce directly reflects a set of farming practices that views the farm or vineyard as one solid organism. The ecosystem functions as a whole, with each portion of the farm or vineyard contributing to the next. The idea is to create a self-sustaining system. Natural materials, soils, and composts are used to sustain the vineyard. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are forbidden for the sake of soil fertility. A range of animals live on the soil and fertilize it, creating a rich, fertile environment for the vines to grow in. Drink this wine knowing that in doing so you’ll be leaving the land it came from in as good or better shape for the benefit of future generations.

Martian Ranch & Vineyard is the creation of its proprietor Nan Helgeland. And though you may believe you have seen small extraterrestrials flitting between the rocks that line the canyon, the name actually comes from a blending of the names of her sons, Martin and Ian. Nan was driven to find the plot of land specific to the varietals she wanted to grow and to farm biodynamically; and her love of nature speaks to her vision and uncompromising standards.

SB Wine Wizard recommends: 2016 Gamay Noir

Some wines are just inherently satisfying the moment you have them in your mouth. This full, delightfully complex but friendly wine is eminently quaffable. Described by its maker as redolent of dried roses, peat moss and pomegranates, with a slatey minerality, this is a wine to be enjoyed with friends, with food (think pork chops, mashed potatoes with a hint of truffle oil, and bitter greens)…or for that matter all alone while contemplating how awesome life can be.


Melville Winery

Another of the original Sideways vineyards, they are serious about producing some really great wines and their wine club is a great value – join for free and enjoy their wines year round at great prices. The tasting room sits in a pretty location with views over the vineyards.



This is a personal favorite of many. The tasting room is surrounded by roses, and inside it has a super friendly and cozy atmosphere. They also have some great wines.

Established in 1997, Rideau Vineyard has been family-owned since day one. Selling direct to you, the consumer, they aspire to produce small-lot wines that are an honest reflection of the estate’s unique terroir, and of the Pacific’s influence on this singular winegrowing region.

The uncommon east-west mountain ranges of the Santa Barbara County wine country create an intense, singular effect on the climate, resulting in many micro-climates conducive to the growing of a number of different grape varieties. The resultant wines are food-friendly, age-worthy and demonstrate true varietal character.

Their estate in the Santa Ynez Valley is home to the El Alamo Pintado Adobe, a Santa Barbara County historic landmark built in 1884 which now houses their tasting room, open year-round. The rich history of the property is highlighted on a number of their labels, which feature former inhabitants of the adobe and others who have had influence on the development of the site.

Throughout the year, Rideau hosts in-depth educational seminars; vineyard walks hosted by winemaker Adrienne St. John; outdoor film screenings in the warmer months; and open-air festivals celebrating their Rhône varietals.

Inspired by the great wines of the Rhône Valley, most notably those of Cornas and Condrieu, Rideau offers a breadth of wines for a diverse audience, with certain aspects always at the forefront of our philosophy: mindful, sustainable farming at the estate, and at all the other vineyards from which fruit is sourced; minimal intervention in the cellar for bright, energetic wines that are ideal for accompaniment to food; and an emphasis on natural balance, great acidity, and age-ability.



This place has one of the most fun and friendly tasting rooms in terms of presentation. It is also a lovely space, with a great range of wines.

Nestled in an oak tree-studded 40-acre vineyard located in the heart of Santa Barbara County, Roblar Winery and Vineyards reflects the spirit of Santa Ynez Valley – rustic, authentic, and bold. Roblar’s philosophy is to foster a unique visitor experience and they encourage guests to explore the estate – from their stunning 5,000 sq. ft. wine tasting room complete with an indoor-outdoor stone fireplace, to the trellis-covered patio, looking out over their expansive gardens.

Roblar’s inviting tasting room is definitely all about wine, but wine as an entertainment, as a story. Wine tastings here are generally presented with more flair than is usual at some wineries, and you soon feel you are amongst friends. This atmosphere has a lot to do with Roblar’s affable and knowledgeable tasting room staff.

Roblar produces a wide selection of small lot wines, made from their own estate grown varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Sangiovese, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, as well as from grapes brought in from vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills and beyond. Santa Barbara Wine Country is enlivened by this friendly, varied wine tasting hang out.

SB Wine Wizard recommends: Sparkling Rose 2016

The grapes used to make this Rosé sparkling wine are all from the estate vineyard at Michel-Schlumberger located in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. It is a perfect accompaniment to a summer picnic, a romantic cruise, or a bridal shower. Bright but full of delicate flavor, and just the right hint of sweetness in the mouth, its notes of strawberry, watermelon and elderflower make it deliciously quaffable for all.



Rusack is a gem of a family owned, boutique winery and vineyard. Nestled among the oak-studded, gently rolling hills of Ballard Canyon, it offers views that are somehow soothing and nourishing to the soul. Sit out on the patio in the lovely, dappled shade of two giant oaks while you taste their elegant and carefully crafted selection of wines, and feel yourself reviving with every sip.

The Rusacks’ self-proclaimed mission is to create world-class, handcrafted wines. Their commitment to that goal was reflected in their replanting of most of their 17 acres of vines in 2003. Divided into small lots to allow for specific management for the best possible quality grapes, and planted at 11° off the north/south axis to allow for equal sun exposure to both sides of the vine canopy, their Syrah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Petit Syrah vines are producing better than ever. Their Sauv Blanc and Syrahs garner most plaudits – not surprising given their location in the heart of the Ballard AVA – though they show quality across the range.



Solminer represent everything we love about the Santa Ynez Valley wine culture. David and Anna’s passion for natural wine making shines through everything they produce, and their organic and biodynamic farm is the perfect starting point for wines that will make you sit up and take notice. Specializing in Austrian grape varietals from Anna’s home country, Solminer takes minimal intervention in their wine making to a whole new level. Unfiltered and with no chemical additives, their wines are kind on the planet and kind on your body. Fresh flavors, revealing complexity and authenticity, will awaken a jaded palate and you will realize the you are tasting wines made by the most traditional (think hundreds of years, Georgian amphora wines and the like) methods in a most modern style. For savvy wine tasters seeking organic, minimal wines, pet-nat (methode traditionelle) wines and unfiltered  “Three cheers!” say we.

In David and Anna’s own words: “Sol-miner as in mining the “Sun” which in turn nourishes the soul. The name inspires us to discover and unearth the treasures in the soils of the California Central Coast.  Our decisions have always been personal – not commercial – and involve what we call “conscious farming”.  As we learn about our little piece of earth and our place in it, the picture begins to widen. We have a feeling of connectedness as each trip around the sun gives us the chance to experience the magical process of exchange from the dirt, plants, fruit, wine, humans, sky, moon, sun and stars.

“Our personal desire is to reflect the vineyard in the wine and experiment with Austrian varietals.  Since the beginning, we thought Grüner Veltliner would do well here and soon after we discovered that the Austrian red grape, Blaufränkisch, is perfect for our climate as well. We’ve rounded things out with a bit of Muscat to create an Austrian inspired dry “Muskateller” and some Syrah for Rose, Sparkling Syrah, a blend and a single vineyard Syrah.  We also have new plantings of Riesling to add to our sources from neighboring vineyards that we have selected for their climate, soils and sustainable growing practices. 1900 cases were produced in the 2018 vintage”

SB Wine Wizard recommends: 2017 Blaufränkisch

Typically grown in the Austrian region of Burgenland near the Hungarian border, the California sun adds wonderful warmth and brightness to this estate grown Blaufrankisch (literally “blue French grape” ) while still maintaining its signature, earthy blue fruit.

Get ready for a taste bud tickling, intensely tongue tango-ing explosion of fruit flavors in your initial sip. Predominantly passion fruit and cassis, but with clear blueberry, mango, lavender and pomegranate on the nose, and hints of allspice and graphite. The flavors simultaneously take on elegant floral notes, bright fruit as well as earth and midweight tannins. The finish is lengthy and bright with just enough tannins to provide structure. You can feel the cleanliness and purity of this wine as you drink it, and the next day when you wake up clear headed and refreshed. This wine has become a favorite in our family – it is not a sophisticated wine, drinking it with a meal carries you back to generations past, to tables set out in the sun in Central or Southern European countries for lunches with family and friends.



Sunstone is a classic place to taste. The building is in a Tuscan style, with beautiful gardens, and you can taste their olive oils as well as some great wines. Beautiful grounds.

Sunstone is believed to be the oldest, continuously organically grown vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Its elegant tasting room recalls old Provence, a feeling enhanced by its lavender and rosemary filled gardens.

Sunstone Vineyards and Winery is an organic vineyard retreat, located just 35-minutes north of Santa Barbara, in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Tucked on the edge of the Santa Ynez River, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine country, the Sunstone Estate is a unique and luxurious destination to enjoy a relaxing wine tasting experience.

An Organic Estate Vineyard

Sunstone’s 28-acre vineyard was planted in 1990 by the Rice Family to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvedre and Viognier varietals, and is farmed in a completely organic, bio-sustainable manner, meeting the highest organic farming standards in viticulture.

Sunstone, a boutique winery named after the vineyard estate’s exposed sun-dappled stones, is one of the loveliest wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley, and indeed on the Central Coast of California. Lose yourself in their inviting courtyards, expansive picnic grounds and tasting room…and enjoy a tasting flight of their delicious organic wines.

This is definitely a wine tasting destination that any local would recommend: Sunstone has regularly been honored by the Santa Barbara Independent reader poll as “Santa Barbara’s Favorite Red Wine” and “Best Santa Ynez Valley Tasting Room”. The winery architecture recalls rustic homes and barns in the Provencal countryside, and the relaxed ambiance in the tasting room includes a kitchen complete with wood-burning oven, and 5,000 square feet of stone barrel-aging caves built into the hillside.

The SB Wine Wizard recommends: Soleil Rouge 2016

Sunstone’s Soleil Rouge is a wonderful blend of estate grown merlot, sangiovese and cabernet franc grapes. It is spicy and redolent of mincemeat, clove and cinnamon mingled with cherry jam, loganberry, and fresh sage.  The mouthfeel is soft and broad on the palate with flavors of plum candy, cherry pie, currants, tobacco, leather, and pie crust.   Lingering chewiness on the palate carries the fruit through a pleasing finish.



Vincent is quite unique in atmosphere as the owner had connections to the Rat Pack era of Las Vegas. There are various types of memorabilia to look at, with Dean Martin and Sinatra playing in the background. They focus on Rhone varietal wines.

Vincent is a boutique producer of estate grown Cabernet varietals. Taking the Las Vegas, Rat-Pack era roots of its founder as a theme, they have created a wonderfully unique atmosphere that includes memorabilia, evocative music, and a luxurious tasting room and patio sunk amongst surrounding vines.

This is a winery and vineyard very much in the mold of its founder Tony Vincent. One time friend and confidante of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davies Jr, Mr. Vincent made his fortune as a commercial developer of hotels and resorts. His penchant for luxury runs throughout the Vincent winery and Vineyard experience, from the ornate gates at the entrance to the high ceilings and Vegas-style design sensibilities of the tasting room. Nowhere else in Santa Barbara Wine Country can you sip the earthy, untamed flavors of a Cab Franc while being soothed by the crooning of Dean Martin and gazing at a vintage motorcycle, or the robe worn by Peter O’Toole while he played the eponymous role in blockbuster film Lawrence of Arabia. Vincent is different, with a capital V!

Quality is also very much in evidence in their approach to farming and the vineyard. A true boutique winery, all their wines are estate grown and bottled, primarily from the Bordeaux varietals that thrive in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Wine tasting at Vincent Winery enjoys exceptional service, overseen by General Manager Lee Lathouwers. With many decades of experience in hospitality, Lee is always at hand to ensure every guests visit is as pleasant as possible. You can’t miss his smile and helpfulness.

The SB Wine Wizard recommends: Vincent Cabernet Franc 2012

This wine presents fresh red berries and luscious ripe blueberries perfumed with hints of bay laurel, lovage and bitter herbs. Ripe berries and pepper intertwine with touches of black tea giving this wine a well-balanced structure with good length and a spicy finish.



Zinke Wine Co. specializes in handcrafted, single vineyard Rhône varietal wines sourced from the Grand Crus of California’s Central Coast wine region. This unique, stylish and friendly Los Olivos tasting room and its special wines are best described in the words of its owner and winemaker, Michael Zinke:

“[Zinke] make unapologetic, site-specific wines that represent the land they come from. But at the end of the day, wine is best shared over a good meal with those you love. We just want you to have as much fun enjoying our wines as we do making them.

When it comes to wine, I’m more interested in the source than simply the end of the line. My passion for wine stems from the vine itself, the earth it comes from, and the fruit it produces. I’m lucky to be able to work with the Grand Crus of California’s Central Coast, all within a stone’s throw of my home in Santa Ynez. I pick at optimal ripeness and hand sort the fruit. I don’t muddy up the fruit with additives, colorings, or general bullshit. Small lot, whole cluster fermentation, co-ferments, and finding the proper balance of oak and time are part of the formula. The other part? Passion, love, authenticity, and the pursuit of the impossible—perfection.”

Zinke has created a spot to unwind in, whether that be to enjoy a tasting flight in their beautiful tasting room, or to share a few bottles with friends while playing lawn games in their gardens. This is definitely one of the standout wine tasting room experiences of Los Olivos and we are happy to make Zinke the drop off point for the Santa Barbara Wine Shuttle in Los Olivos. Oh, and did we mention we have negotiated some great deals for you if you do choose to drop in? Just ask your driver.