Going wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara? Leave all your planning, mapping and driving hassles behind. It's all about relaxing and enjoying the wine country experience, right? The following Santa Ynez wine tour companies offer variations on that theme. Maybe there's one just right for you.
Wine Edventures offer daily tours which feature a knowledgeable guide who will enlighten you about the area and the wineries you are visiting. You can even request a private tour customized to your own wine experience level.
Plus, they have tours which focus on a specific AVA. You can reach them at 805-965-9463.
Another wine tour company is Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours. They'll take you past orchards and through gorgeous vineyards. The jeeps hold five to seven people and are covered with a canopy so you won't get sun burnt. Guides let you know about the local history and other information on the natural aspects of the beautiful scenery. The tours include visits to four wineries, plus a gourmet picnic. Call 805-646-3201 for more information.
Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours take people on half-day or four-day trips through the Santa Ynez Valley. Enjoy the fresh air, the exercise, wine tastings and gourmet picnic lunches. You tour guide will show you the way. To find out more, call 888-557-8687.
For a different mode of travel, try wine tasting by trolley. The Santa Barbara Trolley Company gives tours for 10 to 32 passengers, and each tour comes fully narrated. They'll even treat you to champagne and hors d'oeuvres. This is a great way to visit wine country with a group. Your guide will take you to about four wineries, stopping for lunch along the way. They can be reached at 805-965-0353.
The Santa Barbara Adventure Company gives Santa Ynez wine tours to four people or more by van. Your guide will take you wine tasting at three to four wineries. A barrel room tour is included at the first one. Call 805-898-0671.
If you'd rather forgo a narrating guide, you can just let a chauffeur drive you around in a limo. Limousine Link is a company that can provide wine tours in stretch limos, passenger vans, mini coaches and other vehicles. Their tours can be personalized to your specifications. Choose the wineries you want to visit and cruise the Santa Ynez Valley in comfort and luxury. Their number is 805-564-4660.
If you need a place to stay in or near Santa Ynez, the Danish town of Solvang is close by and a good base point for your wine touring.
Laura Eggers Underhill is the writer for http://www.experience-wine-country.com , which has information on wine trails throughout California. More on the Santa Ynez Valley .