On the Sideways Movie Trail: A Wine Tasting Tour of Santa Barbara

Far from home, in the Macedonian capital city of Skopje, the American wine-lover’s flick Sideways was providing background fodder at a wine event. For a second, Shawn and I thought we’d been whisked back to the United States, until we spotted the Academy Award winner’s subtitles written in the Cyrillic script, an alphabet made even more foreign after a glass of wine.

Fast-forward two years, and we’d find ourselves in the heart of Sideways filming locations, in rustically-beautiful Santa Barbara County, California. On a tasting excursion with wine entrepreneurs Kevin and Sherene Donoghue, of Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours, we’d explore three wineries and a beer taproom, don furry Davy Crockett coonskin hats, and hear a plethora of praise for the 2004 film that helped to put this Southern California wine region on the map.

Santa Barbara County Wine Country

One of California’s coolest wine-growing areas, Santa Barbara County’s topography features a unique east-west orientation of its coastal mountains. Since the region’s valleys are opened directly onto the Pacific Ocean, fog and ocean breezes roll in, creating numerous microclimates. This generally-cooler air also means that grapes don’t need to be harvested as early as their cousins in hotter climates. This allows Santa Barbara’s grapes to develop rich flavors and characteristics.

Though grapes have been cultivated for about two centuries in the Santa Barbara area, modern viticulture wasn’t ushered into the region until the 1960s. Today, wineries number around 200, and there are even a variety of breweries and taprooms to visit. Popular grape varietals include whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and reds such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. About half of Santa Barbara’s grapes are exported to winemakers outside of the area. There are 5 viticultural areas or ‘appellations’ in Santa Barbara County.

Stopping in the wine-tasting mecca of Los Olivos a day before we met Kevin and Sherene, we marveled at the number of tasting rooms in the town. On the day of our tour, we would learn that many of the spots in the county are not zoned for public wine tastings – thus tasting rooms have sprung up in large clusters in Los Olivos instead. Some ranchers are apparently concerned that wineries located in the countryside would generate excessive traffic.

Santa Ynez Valley California
With a climate that is Mediterranean-like, Santa Barbara County doesn’t receive a lot of rain, so golden rolling hills prevail. Unfortunately, California’s ongoing drought is impacting winemakers, particularly those that engage in dry farming. “I would like to do some drip irrigation now, but there’s just not enough water to do it,” said one winemaker.
Cattle Skulls Decorative Los Alomos California
Cow skulls with flowers decorate the nooks of our motel in Los Alomos.
Olive Grove Santa Ynez Valley
A lush olive grove.

Foxen Winery

Our first stop with Kevin and Sherene was the Foxen Winery, which is well-known for being a Sideways filming location. The winery features two tasting rooms just a stone’s throw from each other. In the 1980s, Foxen was founded by Dick Doré and Bill Wathen on the site of the Rancho Tinaquaic. The winery is named after Dick’s great-great grandfather, an English sea captain who established a ranch there in the 1830s, raised cattle, and paid homage to his naval past by incorporating an anchor into his cattle brand.

Foxen 7200 – perhaps better known as ‘the Shack’ – focuses upon Bordeaux and Italian style wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The new, state-of-the-art tasting room just down the road – simply known as Foxen – specializes in Burgundy and Rhône-style wines, like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Mourvèdre.

The ‘Shack’ is the winery’s original tasting room and was formerly a blacksmith shop. The view from the rustic structure, with doorways opening out into the surrounding countryside, rewarded us with sightings of hummingbirds and a Garfield-lookalike cat named Jack

Foxen 7200 Tasting:

  • 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Vogelzang Vineyard
  • 2012 Pajarito, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
  • 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Happy Canyon of Vogelzang and Dierberg
  • 2012 Range 30 West
  • 2012 Guillermo Grosso, Santa Ynez Valley
  • 2012 Cabernet Franc, Tinaquaic Vineyard

Just down the road from the Shack is Foxen’s new tasting room, built in 2009. It features sustainable principles such as solar-power and dry-farmed vineyards, as well as a roaming canine ambassador named Henry. The personable Pug was featured in the coffee table book, Wine Dogs – California. Shawn just about spirited him away in his backpack!

As we tasted, Kevin shared an analogy about winemaking that spoke to me.

“Winemaking is like a Rubik’s Cube,” he said. “Winemakers work with grapes coming from different vineyards and different clones. Pinot Noir, for example, has about 48 different recognized clones.”

Foxen Tasting:

  • 2012 Chardonnay ‘Steel Cut’
  • 2012 Chardonnay ‘Dry Farmed’
  • 2014 Rosé Mourvèdre
  • 2013 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley (My favorite!)
  • 2012 Pinot Noir, Block 43, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley
  • 2012 Pinot Noir, John Sebastian Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills
  • 2012 Syrah, Tinaquaic Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley
Foxen 7200 Shack Sideways Santa Barbara Wine Tasting
Tasting stop number one: History abounds at Foxen Winery, which is located on the historic Rancho Tinaquaic. The land was purchased by English sea captain William Benjamin Foxen in 1837, who later became a cow hide trader. The winery’s co-founder, Dick Doré, is Foxen’s great-great grandson. Pictured here is Foxen 7200, a tasting room that’s affectionately known as ‘The Shack.’ This structure used to be a blacksmith shop, and there was once a stagecoach stop across the street. In 2004, the movie Sideways was filmed inside this tasting room. Just down the road is a new, state-of-the-art Foxen tasting room.
Foxen Winery Brand Blacksmith Shop
Tasting room associate, Cece, holds a branding iron with an anchor symbol which was once used to brand the ranch’s cattle. Today, Foxen uses it to brand wine barrels. They also issue temporary tattoo stickers should any guests wish to walk around with Foxen’s logo on them. :)
Foxen Winery 7200 Tasting Santa Barbara County
The Foxen 7200 Tasting Room offers Bordeaux-style wines, along with Californian and Italian varieties.
Sideways Filming Location Foxen Winery Shack
Tasting room associate Cece, along with our host, Kevin, help us replicate the Sideways scene in which characters Miles and Jack taste at this very counter.
Sideways Filming Location Foxen Winery Shack 2 Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church
Foxen’s Hollywood moment is captured in a frame in the tasting room’s so-called ‘shrine’.
Foxen Winery 'Shrine'
More than 10 years after the movie was filmed, domestic and international visitors continue to flock to the Sideways filming trail. Our Foxen host Cece said the shrine was born when visitors from Hong Kong left some of their money, joking that they’d “take it back” when they return to Foxen.” From there, the practice of leaving mementoes “just snowballed,” explained Cece.
Foxen Wine Tasting Sideways filming location
Cece was such a good sport when I asked her to repeat this shot twice. I missed the action as she was actually pouring, and since I didn’t want to waste any good wine, asked if she could stage this picture, even with the lid on. :)
Foxen Winery Hummingbird Feeding
Hummingbirds know that Foxen has good beverages, as evidenced by the flock of hummingbirds that I saw pass through this feeder, one by one (left). On the right, the weathervane hints at the ranch’s past.
Foxen Wine Tasting
Down at Foxen’s modern tasting room, they pour Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rhône-style wines. Here, Natalie walks Kevin and Shawn through a Cabernet Sauvignon from Happy Canyon of Vogelzang and Dierberg. Paintings of Foxen founders Dick Doré and Bill Wathen hang in the background. The duo has been making wine together for 30 years.
Dogs Santa Ynez Valley

Foxen Winery Pinot Noir Sideways movie
Backyard scenes at the new Foxen tasting room, with Foxen’s trademark anchor featured prominently on this bottle and glass of Pinot Noir (right).
Foxen Winery
A Scrub Oak (left). On the right, Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours co-founder, Kevin Donoghue, along with Foxen co-owner Dick Doré, and tasting room associate, Cece.
Santa Ynez Valley Countryside
As we drove from stop to stop, we spotted horses, cattle, and a coyote darting across the street. Since the area is only about 2.5 hours from Los Angeles, it attracts celebrities to become residents and winemakers. Kevin mentioned that Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is just on the other side of this hill. And, actors Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, and Emilio Estevez also have their own wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. Hawn’s and Russell’s Chardonnay is aptly named ‘Goldie’.
Santa Ynez Countryside

Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tasting Countryside

Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

Situated on the picturesque Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, Fess Parker Winery was founded by Hollywood actor, Fess Parker, best known for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in 1950’s and 1960’s TV series. It was also featured in the movie, Sideways.

In between tasting, we strolled the winery’s grounds, at times sporting faux fur Davy Crockett coontail hats. Clearly the day’s wonderful wine had already had an impact on us! :)

Over a hearty lunch on the winery’s immaculate grounds, we got to know Sherene and Kevin better. Sherene, as it turns out, formerly ran a studio in Hollywood, and Kevin is a Sheriff’s Deputy. A ‘Renaissance’ couple long interested in wine, the duo plans to get Level I Sommelier certification in Napa later this year.

Most of our group feasted upon panini sandwiches; I ate a scrumptious gluten-free chicken salad and organic greens. All were catered by a local artisan sandwich shop, which coincidentally had just been featured on The Today Show..

Fess Parker Tasting:

  • 2013 Chardonnay, Ashley
  • 2012 Viognier, Rodney’s Vineyard
  • 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé
  • 2014 Santa Barbara County White Wine (My favorite.)
  • 2012 Pinot Noir, Older Barrel
  • 2012 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido
  • 2012 The Big Easy
  • 2011 Syrah Vintage, Rodney’s Vineyard
Fess Parker Winery California
Tasting stop number two: The Fess Parker Winery, which was founded by the American actor of the same name. Though Parker died in 2010, his children continue to keep the family business going, along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. The winery specializes in Rhône and Burgundian varietals such as Viognier and Syrah, and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, respectively.
Fess Parker Winery Tasting
Rose bushes added to vineyards don’t merely add a pretty splash of color; they also help winemakers detect different types of fungal diseases in grapevines. Since roses and grapevines are susceptible to similar diseases, an unhealthy rose bush can serve as an early warning sign that a winemaker must also be sure to treat grapevines. Otherwise, mildew can harm the grapes.
Fess Parker Winery

Fess Parker Winery Davy Crockett Furs
Fess Parker, the winery’s founder, became well-known for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone – hence all the furry coontail hats.
Fess Parker Winery Tricia & Shawn with Davy Crockett Hats
Loaner coontail hats are available for tasters to wear out in the vineyard for photo opps. I came out looking more like I was donning a furry Babushka cap, while Shawn looked like he had sprouted a mullet!
Fess Parker Winery Grapes Vineyard
Baby grapes strut their stuff (left) while workers remove unnecessary greenery from the vineyards (right). The red and white fan is there to help keep the grapes warm in spring months, when frost might otherwise damage the young shoots.
Lunch with Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours
Fess Parker’s tables and picturesque views invite wine tasters to picnic. Sherene and Kevin’s picnic had such attractive flair: lemon chiffon-colored napkin rings, and a wicker basket in which to carry it all.
Lunch with Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours
Fess Parker’s pretty blooms (left) and Shawn’s picnic lunch (right). He enjoyed a roast chicken sandwich studded with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil & provolone, while I had a gluten-free chicken salad on a bed of organic greens. A glass of Chardonnay, bubbly water, toasted almonds, stuffed olives, and miniature chocolate chip cookies rounded out the meal.
Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours Founders Sherene and Kevin
Sherene and Kevin founded Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours about one year ago. They’re planning on earning Level I Sommelier certification this summer, and have incorporated an exploration of wine regions into their international travels.
Grape Leaves

Fess Parker Winery Horses Davy Crockett

Los Olivos Wine Tasting Santa Ynez 2
Next, we were off to the town of Los Olivos, which dates back to the 1860s. Today, it has a plethora of wine-tasting rooms, boutiques, cafés, restaurants and frilly Victorian architecture.
Los Olivos Old Oak Tree

Los Olivos Wine Merchant Café

Ever in Sideways filming country, Kevin suggested we pop into the Los Olivos Wine Merchant Café, where the film’s four main characters dined on a double date. We were immediately impressed by the restaurant’s extensive and aesthetically-pleasing wine collection, illuminated by spotlights and a sparkling chandelier.

Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe Sideways Filming Spot
Kevin points out yet another Sideways filming spot – the chic, yet relaxed, Los Olivos Wine Merchant Café. The establishment has more than 500 types of wine, displayed in an inviting fashion where diners can easily peruse the collection.
Los Olivos California

J Ludlow Vineyard

Our final wine-tasting stop of the day would be at the J Ludlow tasting room in the town of Los Olivos. Appreciated for its Bordeaux-style wines, J Ludlow allows its wines to age longer than others in the area.

“The ultimate compliment,” explained manager Damien, “was when French visitors arrived, sniffed the wine here, and it said it smelled like wine from back home.”

We enjoyed J Ludlow’s wines, especially its Jigsaw Sauvignon Blanc, which is a perfect wine to enjoy on a sizzling summer’s day. We were also happy to hear that the winery gives back to the community. Specifically, the owners like to help charities that support Autism research, hence the puzzle logo incorporated into much of J Ludlow’s decor and marketing.

J Ludlow Tasting:

  • 2012 Pinot Grigio, Contra Costa County
  • 2013 Jigsaw Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley (My favorite.)
  • 2011 Jane Merlot, Santa Ynez Valley
  • 2011 Kemsley 1550 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley
  • 2012 Hudson Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley
J Ludlow Vineyard Los Olivos
Tasting stop number three: J Ludlow Vineyard (right). Since J Ludlow supports Autism charities, they’ve incorporated the cause’s symbol (a puzzle piece) into their branding. On our way to J Ludlow, I was impressed with a neighboring shop’s planters overflowing with vibrant Statice flowers (left). I’d previously only seen this bloom in flower arrangements or dried.
J Ludlow Los Olivos Wine Tasting

J Ludlow Wine Tasting Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours
Shawn, savoring a sample of Sauvignon Blanc, while Kevin looks on. This was my favorite from the winery, thanks to its citrus and honey characteristics.
J Ludlow Winery Tasting
J Ludlow’s manager, Damien, pours a 2011 Merlot. The wine had nice fruity notes. It was aged in French Oak for 36 months.
J Ludlow Vineyard Los Olivos California

Los Olivos Wine Tasting Santa Ynez
One of Los Olivos’ main streets.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company

Just as we were ready to hop into the van and head back to our home away from home in Los Alamos, Kevin asked us if we’d like to sample a bit of beer. Ever aware that I can’t do beer because of the gluten, Shawn chivalrously declined, but with a twinkle in his eye, mischievous Kevin gave us an extra nudge, and introduced us to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, where he and Shawn would sample four types of beer.

With the advice of wine educators swirling in my mind, reminding me of the importance of fine-tuning my olfactory senses, I sniffed the beer intently. The unusual scents captured my attention – particularly the Renaissance Man variety with its fruity aroma. Shawn reported that he enjoyed his sips too, and he left feeling quite pleased that Kevin spontaneously took us there. Apparently, men who tire of wine tastings opt to go to Figueroa Mountain (or another taproom) while the ladies take to Santa Barbara County’s wineries.

Figueroa Mountain Tasting:

  • Zero to Sexy (hint of coffee)
  • Renaissance Man (apricot essence)
  • Davy Brown Ale (smooth)
  • Lizard’s Mouth (chocolatey, with a coffee aftertaste)
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Los Olivos Beer Tasting
To finish up the day, Kevin whisked us off to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, where he and Shawn sampled a bit of brewski.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Los Olivos Beer Tasting 3
During our weeknight visit, only locals were frequenting the taproom, along with a canine companion who waited patiently for his master. Here, Anthony gives a bit of background information before Shawn and Kevin dive into the samples.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Los Olivos Beer Tasting 4

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Los Olivos Beer Tasting 2
The brewery’s beers were named with the region in mind. Hoppy Poppy IPA makes reference to the plethora of poppies that grow in the area, while the Danish Red Lager makes a nod to the nearby town of Solvang, which was founded by Danish settlers in the early 1900s. Solvang is peppered with half-timbered buildings, windmills, pastry shops, even a replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue.
Santa Ynez Valley

Video of This Experience:

Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • Santa Barbara County wine country is located about 50 miles (80 kms) from the city of Santa Barbara.
  • Sherene, the co-owner/founder of Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours, together with her husband, Kevin, picked us up from Los Alamos, but they most often do pick-ups in Santa Barbara. The couple leads tailored tours to boutique wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Rita Hills, and Foxen Canyon areas. I greatly appreciated that they ensured that my lunch was gluten free!
  • During our time in Santa Barbara wine country, we spent two nights at the Alamo Motel (affiliate link) in the small town of Los Alamos. We liked the Alamo Motel’s proximity to wineries, plus its Southwestern character and outdoor communal area fire pit, where we met traveling pooch Bixby and her owner Mike, of Where’s Bixby fame. I also appreciated Los Alamos’ 19th-century feel. One late afternoon when many of the town’s establishments were closed, Shawn and I window shopped along its main street, peeking into tiny tasting rooms, antique shops, and art galleries. I imagine the area’s much more lively on weekends, but we enjoyed Los Alamos’ laid-back nature during the week.
  • For a Santa Barbara wine country map, events, and details about wine-growing areas, see the Santa Barbara Vintners site.
  • Finally, if you’re a fan of the movie that made this wine region even more popular, soak up some Sideways trivia and filming locations via this handy map.

Disclosure & Thanks:

Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours hosted us during this day’s excursion.

We’d like to thank Kevin and Sherene for sharing their anniversary afternoon with us, and for making our exploration of Santa Barbara County’s wine country such fun. And, a special thank you to Sherene for doing all the driving so that the three of us could sample Santa Barbara County’s vino!

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved. My husband, Shawn, created the video.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

33 thoughts on “On the Sideways Movie Trail: A Wine Tasting Tour of Santa Barbara

    1. Hi there, Tricia, it’s not often that my path intersects with another Trish. :)

      I’m happy you enjoyed this glimpse of pretty Santa Barbara County. We’ve been lucky enough to see wine country in Italy and Spain, but this region is decidedly American, with a fun, rugged character about it. I hope you might be headed there someday soon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thank you for reading.

  1. Tricia, that was a nice tour of Santa Barbara’s wine country and I got to hear your voice. I like the wines from there. The brewery looks like fun too.

    1. Hi Gerard, since this afternoon offered a blend of wine & beer tasting, I think you would’ve enjoyed it. While I didn’t get to try the beer, the aroma was really nice. We didn’t get a chance to see the beer being brewed, but I’d be curious how the brewer works his magic. :) Glad you enjoyed the video; I’ve only narrated a few, and I learn something each time I partner with Shawn while doing the audio.

    1. Nylonliving, there’s always next time. :) We also like to focus on quality, not squeezing in dozens of wineries in one day. Three or four per day is usually our maximum, and often we could just hang at one all afternoon, if everything falls into place. What vineyard did you visit while in SB? I’m also curious what some of your favorite wines in the area were. :)

      1. We went to Foleys recommended by our hotel The Bacara in Santa Barbara. Turned out Mr foley is also an owner at the hotel. But the wines were great. I liked the Chardonnays. The vineyard was so pretty we stayed put in their garden for an afternoon and didn’t make it to any of the vineyards that were recommended!!

  2. Tricia, thank you for taking me on a wine tasting tour, something I always want to do, I’ve been in Santa Barbara uncountable times, but never made it to wine country side. Maybe following month, as I am travelling up there to visit “The Lotusland” a botanical garden, where the Lotus Flowers are blooming. I guess you won’t make it down here to Orange county, where I live. My next upcoming travel plans are to Munich via Stockholm in September.

    1. Greetings Cornelia, Lotusland looks lovely and somewhat reminiscent of the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco. I wish we’d known about it while in Santa Barbara, but even so, probably would not have had enough time to visit. We only soaked up Santa Barbara for an afternoon, but did enjoy being out in Santa Barbara County’s wine country for 2 days. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it farther south than Santa Barbara, otherwise I would’ve let you know we were in your neighborhood. That’s the beauty of travel though – always having more landscape to explore, and new and old friends to see. I’ll be eager to hear more about your European travel plans for this fall; what a lovely time of year to visit! Wish you a splendid day.

      1. Thank you dear Tricia. I am going there July 15th, because of the blooming Lotus Flowers, hopefully they are in their most beauty. I need some more pictures of Lotus Flowers for my spiritual greeting cards, some clients are asking for me. Hopefully soon I will have an e-commerce site built , which means with a shopping card, so people can purchase my work online, with my developing greeting card business. Hoping it will be successful. Also I am planning a trip to India with a Persian friend , beginning of next year. Wish you a wonderful stay in the U.S. and can’t wait for your next posts.

      2. Sounds as though you have some exciting plans in the works, Cornelia. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your new shop unveiled. Will it be your first trip to India?

    1. Lynne, that’s really nice to hear – thank you! I’m hoping your California chums might find some inspiration from the Paso Robles & Santa Barbara posts. After spending time in Old World wine country, Shawn and I sure enjoyed the comparatively rugged beauty of the California countryside. If your friends have any feedback, or care to share any of their favorite wine spots, I’d be curious to hear that too. Thanks again, Lynne, and enjoy the new week!

    1. Hi Todd, ah, I wished we’d had more time to spend in Santa Barbara itself. We strolled along the Pacific mostly, visited the city’s old Mission church, and breezed through the downtown. My heart skipped a beat when I saw a bakery dedicated to gluten-free pastries. We’ll simply have to return for that, and some of the State Street eateries you mentioned. The wine country I profiled here is actually about an hour away from the city of SB. I hope you’ll get a chance to get there soon. Happy travels, and thanks for your comment!

  3. Now that looks like a good wine tour!! I love seeing photos of other wine areas, the landscape is so different to here in Italy, but just as beautiful. I’m also very jealous of the beer… every wine tasting day should end with a beer tasting!

    1. Hi Richard, I must dine ‘senza glutine’ so this beer was off-limits to me, but my husband Shawn gave it rave reviews. We’re actually hoping to come to the Langhe later this summer, of course to soak up the wine and your area’s renowned gastronomy. I can see why you were drawn to live there!

    1. Carol, having grown up in the Midwestern United States where hummingbird sightings are more rare, I was in my element spotting California’s many hummingbirds. Are there any in Australia?

    1. Jerriann, it’s great to hear that this post is helpful to you. If only we’d had more time in the Santa Barbara area – I would’ve loved to have done some hiking there! I wish you great weather, and fun travels. Do you think you’ll do tastings in Los Olivos or elsewhere in SB County?

  4. My best friend was married in Santa Barbara, and I remember after touring the vineyards I make a declaration that this is where I am going to live when I get older… After reading this, my mind remains unchanged although now I will have to change my declaration to “when I get much older” as I still am a way from settling down :-) Cheers ~

    1. Randall, after having soaked up the Santa Barbara sunshine and enjoyed the area’s laid-back feel for a few days, I can see why you’re drawn to those golden rolling hills. When you “get much older” :) do you hope to settle in the city of Santa Barbara, or out in the countryside? And, was your friend married at a vineyard, or in SB itself?

      1. My SB dreams were supplanted by Hong Kong dreams… too many nice places in the world. However, when I do get older, it will be a quiet place in the countryside or along Hood Canal for me. My friend was married in SB itself, and memories of the coast and beauty of the place are still fresh in my mind. Cheers to a great weekend Tricia!

      2. There are indeed so many nice places in the world, Randall; it’s nice that you’re flexible enough to set one dream aside for a while so that you can appreciate serendipitous ones that come your way a bit earlier in life. :) Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

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