We love wine travel here at Reverse Wine Snob but with so many places to explore, how do you choose? After reading today’s special sponsored post from Visit Santa Maria Valley we know one place that may just jump to the top of your list!
From Visit Santa Maria Valley:
Have you heard of the Santa Maria Valley? It’s a hidden gem for wine enthusiasts, located about seventy miles north of Santa Barbara and forty miles south of Morro Bay, and uniquely situated in a one-of-a-kind coastal climate that winegrowers love. From quaint hotels to signature Santa Maria-style barbecue, you’ll be sure to fall in love-at-first taste. And with rates that won’t break the bank, you can satisfy any craving for seconds and stay another night for another delicious helping of this one-of-a-kind valley.
Meandering roads, breathtaking views, and tucked-away vineyards can be found all along the valley trail. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail connects Los Olivos and Santa Maria, a journey that gets you out of the city and into the country. You’ll find the wineries treat visitors like family; welcoming, approachable, and focused most on the enjoyment of wine. They aren’t just a name on a label – you’re likely to meet the winemakers themselves when you come by for a tasting. It doesn’t matter if you swirl ‘til you spill – the unpretentious nature of the region makes the experience authentic, educational and just plain fun.
Santa Maria Valley is an acclaimed wine-growing region, and one of six federally recognized American Viticultural Areas (AVA) within Santa Barbara County, which encompasses one of the top wine regions in the world. The region boasts a rare “transverse” geography – an east-west orientation forms valleys that open directly into the Pacific Ocean. This unique topography creates one of the coolest wine-growing regions in California – an ideal environment for classic grape varietals.
The result is one of California’s longest growing seasons, what experts have called “the world’s most dynamic wine-growing region.” This extra time on the vine and well-drained soil conditions means grapes are more flavorful, balanced, and produce complex Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Syrahs — the valley’s flagship varietals.
A tasty complement to Santa Maria Valley wines is Santa Maria-style barbecue, which centers around beef tri-tip or sirloin combined with a simple seasoning, grilled over red-oak wood. The traditional accompaniments include pinquito beans, fresh salsa, tossed green salad, and grilled French bread dipped in sweet melted butter.
There are lots of places to stay in Santa Maria and the surrounding area, offering much more bang for your buck. Typically, hotel rates are more affordable than some of the more known tourist-destination spots. The Historic Santa Maria Inn was once a legendary hub for the Hollywood elite – Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin were among its famous guests. Today, the Inn still retains its classic turn-of-the-century charm. Sights and areas of interest are all within a relatively short drive’s distance.
Visitors can discover longtime favorites such as Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard & Winery, Cambria Winery & Vineyard, Rancho Sisquoc Winery and Foxen Vineyard. Wine lovers will also appreciate and enjoy the Historic Santa Maria Inn’s Wine Cellar and Martini Bar, Presqu’ile Winery’s state-of-the-art facility, the boutique experience of Nagy Wines and Ca’ Del Grevino Café & Wine Bar’s farm-fresh offerings.
The Santa Maria Valley is approximately 3 hours from Los Angeles, and approximately 4 ½ hours from San Francisco. Santa Maria also has an airport with direct flights to and from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Neighboring cities such as Santa Barbara (SBA) and San Luis Obispo (SBP) also have airports. The excellent weather here makes visiting the Santa Maria Valley easy year-round with temperatures averaging 69 degrees.
Head toward the valley of vineyards and discover something new in the Santa Maria Valley. Where grapes are allowed to take their sweet time. Where coming uncorked is optional… but encouraged. And, where wine country is done a little differently. For more information, visit santamariavalley.com.
This post was sponsored by Visit Santa Maria Valley.