So, here we are, the third day of Hanukkah and 14 days until Christmas. Some of you may be nearly done with your shopping, while some of us have yet to begin. Either way, we are here to help! Here are more great gift ideas from the Santa Ynez Valley. Staying true to being aware and conscientious consumers, this week’s picks are local, and also (mostly) consumable. We love these type of gifts for many reasons. They don’t take up space. They actually get used. The are always the right size. They are not made of plastic. They do not add to waste. They were not only not made in another country on an assembly line, they were made by people. Actual people that live here in our amazing community that we are so proud to be a part of. And, best of all, it is truly a unique way to experience art. Tasting it!
This brings us (joyfully!) to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. Possibly our favorite brewhouse in the valley, not only for the killer beers, but also for their super cool tasting room and beer garden. The staff is super friendly, knowledgeable and always ready to draw you a pint. Fig Mountain makes around eight different beers, so there is something for everyone. Choose from Paradise Road Pilsner, Wrangler Wheat, Figueroa Mtn. Pale Ale, Danish Red Lager, Hoppy Poppy IPA, Hurricane Deck Double IPA (8% alcohol!), Davy Brown Ale or the Stagecoach Stout.
Fig offers some great gifts! Right now, you can get a gift box of two 22 ounce beers of your choice and 2 logo pints for only $25! The perfect way to introduce these wonderful ales to the beer lover in your life. Another option is the growler. The growler is a half gallon jug that you can purchase and keep, and take it in for refills (a mere $14) of your favorite beer. Grab a growler, fill it with your choice of beer, slap a bow on it and, voila! Gift in hand. Good gift for locals and love the continued joy it brings. Gift certificates to the brewery are always a welcomed gift. This lets your friends and family get to really experience FMB. You can watch production happening, (or a soccer match on one of several televisions), right from your bar stool in the tasting room, while doing a sample tasting, having a pint or sharing a pitcher. Or, you can hang outside in the awesome beer garden, fully equipped with horseshoes, bocce ball, firepits and a stage for live music performances. To add to your gift of suds, check out their merchandise! With a cool logo like Fig has, you can’t go wrong with a t-shirt, hat, hoodie or tap handle.
The infamous Solvang Bakery is the place to satisfy the sweet tooth on your list. They have been baking and shipping deliciousness all over the country for over 30 years! You can have almost anything they make delivered. So awesome!
They offer many options for Hanukkah, winter, or Christmas gifts. Everything is so cute and scrumptious. You can choose from cookie gift boxes, gingerbread cookie ornaments, tubs of world famous butter cookies, traditional danishes (perfect on Christmas morning), holiday cookie wreaths, or, our personal favorite, a hand decorated, personalized gingerbread house. They really are incredible! Such attention to detail and so creative. These truly are a work of art. If you would rather give a more hands on gift, gingerbread house kits are available. The bakery also offers house making parties on site. These are fun gifts that create long lasting memories. Regardless of the treat you choose, your loved ones will feel such happiness to receive such a delicious gift. Grab a cookie for yourself too – you deserve it!
Walking into Global Gardens, you will feel like you’re on a journey around the world. Guess that makes the name appropriate. We chose Global Gardens as a shopping destination because of their wonderful olive oils, but there are honestly tons of gift options in this lively shop. But, in staying with our consumable theme, let’s first discuss the edible options.
Global Gardens specializes in olive oil. They source from amazing orchards, some of which they own, and make many of the oils themselves. A true passion you can savor. They offer many different oils, ranging in flavors from more mild, to intensified flavors of grass and pepper. Along with these impressive oils, there are also other types of oils (walnut, truffle, etc.), vinegars, condiments, olives and spices. This makes creating a gift basket a no brainer. (They have a huge assortment of baskets too). There are several gift sets and baskets ready to go, to ease your gift purchasing, as well. The virtual tour and tasting kit is a super fun present. Give the experience of being in the store, and tasting their oils, no matter where you are. It also includes a $10 gift certificate towards any purchase. Global Gardens offers a few different clubs too, which always makes a good present, and reaps benefits all year. The quarterly club includes an olive oil, a vinegar and a specialty food item.
In trying to offer you a worldly experience within their store, Global Gardens has other items such as gorgeous scarves, beautiful and unique serving pieces and an amazing spa collection of lotions, soaps and candles. Many of these things come from around the globe, and while this may not feel like shopping local, Global Gardens is committed to purchasing fair trade items, donates generously to local and regional endeavors and supports women’s micro-loan programs worldwide. Great items – great causes! This is a win win situation. Especially for those names crossed off your list after visiting Global Gardens.
Now, being that we live in wine country, we can’t leave wine out of the picture. We all know that wine is a perfect present. Whether for your boss, the hostess, or your son’s teacher; wine always works. There are numerous wineries here where you can get some amazing wines. Many wineries are offering holiday packs, gift baskets and winter discounts. We are sure you have your favorites, so we won’t inject here. We will remind you though, that giving the gift of membership is a true gift. A wine club membership takes giving wine to a whole nother level. Our top two choices for gift giving of wine club membership are Kaena and Blair Fox.
These labels are producing high quality wines. However, that production is relatively small. Club membership guarantees you a piece of the pie. Sometimes it is the only way to get a particular wine they have made. Supporting these labels feels so right when you see their hands on approach, dedication and genuineness. We also love that they only ship a few times a year and their prices are extremely reasonable. So, check them out and check the wine lovers off the list.
Until next time, enjoy the Valley and your shopping adventures….and maybe a little wine. It makes everything better.
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