My friend and I went up to Santa Ynez area outside Santa Barbara yesterday to wine taste for the day! It was so much fun! We left LA pretty early in the morning, and were making good time until we got to Ventura and hit the worst traffic ever. There apparently was a horrible accident ahead of us. We ended up going the scenic route towards Ojai and although it delayed our arrival into Santa Ynez it was a very pretty drive. We had lunch in Solvang, the town next to Santa Ynez, a very cute little Bavarian town. Also, we lucked out on the weather. LA and Santa Barbara had overcast weather all day but once we got about 15 miles outside Santa Ynez it was all sunshine. After we had a great lunch at the Solvang Brewing Company, we headed next door to the Wandering Dog Wine Bar to do our first tasting and to ask for some other recommendations about wineries. Both of our phones had died, so we were helpless. Sad but true. Without yelp, I don’t know what to do. The really nice guy that worked there named Russell told us about his 3 favorite wineries in the area, and they all started with a B: Bridlewood, Brander and Beckmen. After a great $10 dollar tasting at the Wandering Dog, we headed to Bridlewood. My favorite wines were the chardonnay and pinot noir, and it was quite possibly the most beautiful winery/vineyard I had ever seen. Huge, beautiful grounds, with a lake, and tons of outdoor seating. So relaxing. After Bridlewood, we headed to Brander. Good rose and also beautiful grounds. They had a very cute outdoor terrace with an outdoor bar as well, so you didn’t have to keep going back and forth to get your next tasting. Beckmen was last. Great wine as well and another winery with beautiful grounds and a great outdoor patio. The staff here was also very friendly and helpful. We owe a great Sunday to our friend Russell at the Wandering Dog Wine Bar. Perfect Saturday.