Day 2 travels brought us south of SLO to the Buellton, Lompoc, Solvang area. This area is considered part of the Santa Barbara county wine area. We chose to come to this area today because Solvang has a festival every third Wednesday of the month. We thought we would see what the festival had to offer.
Tasting fee is $10. No substitutions are allowed. They are open daily 10-4. They now are selling wines by the glass. Outside has a patio in back with tables and umbrellas. The front also has two tables that do not have umbrellas. The parking lot has no shade. We made no purchases.
Babcock winery & Vineyards
Paperwork states if you join their club you get a refund on tasting fee, however we tasted and there was no mention of a tasting fee. The tasting bar is small and in the back of the room. They are open daily 10:30- 5. The rest of the room is set up like an antique store. They have school-like lockers that store their wines. There are three picnic benches perched on a small grass area alongside the winery tasting room. As for parking, if you come in the morning there would be hedges that block sun, but since it is usually cool and foggy in the am it doesn’t help much. The sun in the west would bake this parking lot. We purchased two 2012 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir.
Tasting fee : $10 for estate tasting or $15 for small lot tasting. Tasting fee is waived with a 3 bottle purchase. They are open daily 11-4. There is a covered terrace with cafe tables and a separate area with two picnic tables under a gazebo. There are some small trees that may provide some shade as they grow. We made no purchases.
Dierberg- Star Lane
Tasting Fee $12 waived with purchase of 4 bottles. They are ope daily from 11-5. Tasting room is in a barn. There is a small tasting area and then another area further back in barn that is available for larger tastings. Outside has a patio with several tables to sit at. Some of the tables have umbrellas. This winery also offers a cheese and meat selection for an additional $15. Once again, there is no shade for parking. We purchased two 2011 Dierberg Chardonnay.
Tasting fee for Pinot is $15 and there is a variety tasting is $12. ( 3 whites & 2 Pinots). This tasting room is located on Industrial Way. It is a temporary tasting room. They are building a tasting room across the street, next to the market. They are open daily 11-4:30. It currently is a storefront, but the new building will be much larger and have a tasting room with a lounge. We made no purchases but seriously considered buying the 2012 Clone 115 Pinot.
We are taking a little break from wine tasting and are stopping at Ostrich Land. I am a freak when it comes to animals and love the opportunity to see anything out of the ordinary. For us Jersey folks, ostrich and emus are not typical.I make Mike take pictures of me with all sorts of animals. In Cancun, one year, I ran about a mile back to the hotel to get some money to take a picture with an orangutan. By the time I made it back, the police arrested the guy for having the orangutan. Some other pictures include monkeys, owls, snakes. Pretty much, someone has an animal, I will take a picture. The entrance fee for two people and two feeding pans was $10. You can watch a video of me feeding the ostrich and emu. As you can see, I get very happy when I do these things.
We headed into downtown Solvang for some food and a some wine tasting before the festival. Solvang is such a cute town. You can park your car in one of the many public parking areas and walk anywhere. It is set up as a Danish town complete with a windmill. As for the festival, known as “Third Wednesday” it turns out only a few shops give a small discount and there is a farmers market. We actually had to ask several people at different shops what it was before someone could give us an answer. We were intending to to go to Solvang Brewing but it was closed on Wednesdays. Instead, we chose the Greenhouse and are splitting a chipotle wrap. More tasting later.
Tasting fee: 6 wines for $16 and you keep the glass. If you don’t want the glass you can return it for a $5 credit towards any purchase. Tasting bar is small, can fit about 8 people comfortably, but there are two tables inside the tasting room that can sit six additional people. We did not make any purchases.
Lucky Dogg Winery
Tasting fee: $10. Tasting fee is waived with the purchase of 2 bottles. They have summer hours of Sunday- Thursday 12-6 and Friday-Saturday 12-7:30. We did not see a dog, but there is a dog bed in the tasting room. We purchased one 2013 Brady’s Blend Syrah.
We ended our day walking around the farmers market. So many fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers for sale. Many tents offered samples and I couldn’t resist getting a Pluot. They are so tough to come by in Jersey. It was so juicy and delicious. A great way to end the day.
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