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An authentic yet sophisticated wine-country luxury inn

Snuggled in the foothills of California’s Santa Barbara wine country, the intimate 20 room Santa Ynez Inn offers an atmosphere of understated, unspoiled luxury coupled with warm hospitality, for those seeking an indulgent wine country getaway. Designed after a historic turn-of-the-century Inn, juxtaposed with all the conveniences of a modern luxury boutique bed and breakfast, Santa Ynez Inn features a bespoke experience, for travelers looking for a unique, un-cookie cutter environment.

Not just for a special occasion, a retreat to the Santa Barbara wine country is in order for just about any time of year. Making Santa Ynez Inn your resting spot feels more like your residence while you see all of the sites in the area. All rooms feature a minimum of 12 foot ceilings yet are each unique to each other, from Cozy classic rooms, to Deluxe rooms with fireplaces, private balconies, oversized bathrooms with two sinks and finally the largest Premier rooms guaranteeing heated marble floors in the sumptuous bathrooms, steam rain head showers, Jacuzzi bathtubs with air-dry, fireplaces, and private balconies or patios.  Pampering is part of the menu as spa treatments are available for guests in the lower lobby along with a small gym if you are so inclined.

Full breakfast is offered daily and nightly hors d’oeuvres around the roaring fire with samplings of wine from local Santa Barbara County wineries. The Inn offers several walking distance options In the friendly town of Santa Ynez for premier but smart-casual dining from Mexican to Italian and farm-to-table cuisine. The food is only comparable to the atmosphere which is lively, local and fun. Return to the Inn for dessert by the fire before turning in.

Not just for individual travelers, the exclusive Santa Ynez Inn is also the perfect small group or wedding venue with options to reserve the entire Inn for a truly memorable event. Venues include a small comfy library for an intimate event complete with fireplace, to the Coach House just steps from the Inn for a larger event of up to 50 people. A large 1500 square foot grassy lawn area with a signature windmill serves as an ideal venue for parties, celebrations and ceremonies.

Santa Ynez Valley Sipping into Spring

Originally Posted March 18, 2013 by

The vines have been sleeping through the cool, dark winter months in the Santa Ynez Valley and now as their buds awaken, the dreams of promising new vintages unfold. Local vintners emerge revitalized and ready to pour…

Celebrate the arrival of spring in the Santa Ynez Valley with a fabulous immersion into more than fifty varietals and over one hundred, world-acclaimed wineries.  Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyAn annual rite of spring, the Vintner’s Festival held on April 19 – 22, returns to Mission Santa Ines in Solvang where it was born 30 years ago! What started as a small food and wine event for the locals in order to raise funding to print a visitors map of the 13 local wineries, has evolved into pure world-class wine bliss paired with homegrown gourmet flavor featuring celebrated local chefs and culinary professionals. The four day celebration features live music by Donna Greene & the Roadhouse Daddies and The Rock ‘n’ Blues Band, a silent auction benefiting People Helping People and complimentary hand and arm massages from Massage Therapy in Old Town Orcutt. Whether your wine appreciation status is novice or sommelier, the Santa Ynez Valley’s Vintner’s Festival embraces all…join a community of food and wine for the ultimate sip and savor event of spring.

Hosted by the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association, the main festival takes place Saturday afternoon but the celebration runs Friday through Monday with many wineries offering tastings of library wines and barrel samples, vineyard barbecues, winemaker dinners, wine & food pairings, cellar lunches and open houses and discount specials. Local Santa Ynez Valley restaurants are also in on the festivities as well with participating wineries pouring at the eateries.

Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyVintner’s Festival 2013 local food participants includeAvant Tapas & WineNew West CateringStafford’s Famous Chocolates,Babé FarmsThe Olive HouseStarting Gate Restaurant at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott,  Bacara Resort & SpaPanera/Ventura CaféTrattoria UlivetoCattaneo BrothersPetrosThe Willows RestaurantIl FustinoEl RanchoValley GrindLuna Olivo andRancho Olivos.



Vintner’s Festival 2013 participating wineries:

  • Ampelos is offering a 10% discount on wines.
  • Andrew Murray Vineyards is offering a 10% discount on any wine purchases. Friday 11 – 2, features a Blending Seminar with Winemaker Andrew Murray with the chance to learn about the process of blending and have the opportunity to blend your own bottle of wine, followed by a catered lunch (limited to 25 people). Saturday, 11-4 join the Spring Release Party and celebrate the launch of Andrew Murray’s new label This is E11even. Plus try all the new Andrew Murray Vineyards releases with music, food, and wine discount specials.
  • Au Bon Climat & Qupé 11- 3 offers an open house featuring library wines, current releases, and bargain wines. Wine from many of their labels will be presented including Au Bon Climat, Qupé and more during this special event as the winery is only open twice yearly to the public.
  • Baehner-Fournier at Bin 2860 is featuring a 20% discount on all current wines.
  • Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Sunday at 10:30 is featuring a Vineyard Walk & Brunch with winemaker, Karen Steinwachs and soil guru Stan Katoda. Featuring a hike through the 39-acre estate vineyard with stops to taste various varietals, check out the progress of 2013 bud break, chat about soils, cane pruning and insight into why they grow wine and farm the way they do. To celebrate both Vintners’ Festival weekend and Earth Day Eve, they’ll conclude the walk with brunch at the vineyard pond and raise a glass in toast to the upcoming vintage!
  • Brander is hosting an open house Saturday 12-4pm with special wine tastings, BBQ and music.
  • Clos Pepe is hosting a Barrel Tasting and Bubble Bash, opening their winery in Lompoc Sunday 11-3 for a rare barrel-tasting and educational opportunity with wine educator and winemaker Wes Hagen. If you’ve ever attended a wine education event with Wes Hagen, you know his straight-forward, passionate delivery of the most interesting geeky tidbits in the world of wine. Taste current releases, the Homage to Chablis Chardonnay (the first stainless SRH Chardonnay, now in its 12th vintage), the rare Clos Pepe Estate Brut Rosé sparkling wine (the first SRH labeled bubbly), library wines and have the chance to take some of these rare bottles home with you. Barrel Tasting at the top of every hour: noon, 1 and 2 pm.
  • Dascomb Cellars offers 10% off any purchases and Friday 4-7 in their tasting room in the heart of Solvang, barrel tasting and cheese pairing with winemaker David Dascomb.
  • Demetria offers Visa holders a 10% discount with a purchase of 3 bottles or more.
  • Dierberg offers Visa holders a 10% discount on all wine purchases.
  • Fiddlehead Cellars, Sun 11-5, features Tasting in the Cellar with Kathy in the Lompoc ‘Wine Ghetto’! Highlighted with goodies on the grill, lively tunes (get out your dancin’ shoes!), Kathy and Rob behind the bar, and stories of travels near and far! Featuring a taste of their new releases – ‘Goosebury’ Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Pink Fiddle’ Rose of Pinor Noir and ’728′ Fiddlestix Pinot. To top it all off, they may even give you a taste of the sparkling wine ‘Bubbles’. You will love the special deals offered Sunday only. Another Fiddlehead party not to be missed!
  • Flying Goat Cellars is hosting their Annual Winemakers Dinner, Friday at La Purisima Mission. Experience a food and wine pairing that you will never forget when winemaker Norm Yost collaborates with Bouchon Santa Barbara proprietor Mitchell Sjerven. Chef Greg Murphy complements a selection of our wines with his unique culinary creations. The evening begins with a sparkling wine reception in the mission garden, followed by an intimate dinner in La Sala, where seating is limited to 40 guests. An adjacent room is available for a private party up to 10-12 guests. Sunday from 11-4, join Flying Goat Cellars in launching a Bubbles Bar at the tasting room with an flight offering of all four Goat Bubbles sparkling wines: Rosé, Crémant, Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs. Winemaker Norm Yost will be pouring some of his finest vintages of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and sparkling wines. His recently-released 2012 Pinot Gris is flying out the door so get it while you can. We will also have light snacks and other surprises so be sure to come by!
  • Foxen is hosting and Open House Saturday and Suday 11-4. Be sure to stop by the tasting rooms for light hors d’oeuvres and special library wines. Also, Saturday at 6pm, a Winemaker Dinner at Alisal Guest Ranch is offered. Join Dick, Billy, Jenny and Becky for another fun-filled evening! For reservations call 805.937.4251. Sells out quickly!
  • Huber Cellars is offering Visa holders 10% discount on purchases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and 25% on case purchases.
  • Kalyra is featuring their 2nd Annual “Around the World” Wine & Food Pairing Sunday noon – 3pm. Spend a jazzy afternoon at Kalyra Winery as you explore the winery and tasting room following a specific route of stations that pair a full flight of Kalyra wine with artisan cheeses, meats and desserts. This event, introduced last year to their blooming roster of fun events, became an instant hit with guests!
  • Kenneth Volk, Saturday adn Sunday 10.30-4.30 features Open House Specials, Magnum Tastings, Pre-releases and light appetizers are featured this weekend.
  • Longoria is hosting a Winemaker Dinner with Chef Budi Kazali and Winemaker Rick Longoria for their annual celebration of food and wine at The Ballard Inn Restaurant, Sunday noon – 3. Space is very limited and sells out quickly.
  • Lucas & Lewellen & Toccata are each featuring their annual Vintner’s Festival Wine & Cheese Pairings with live music and wine specials, Saturday 5-8pm, no RSVP is required.   Also, Saturday evening 6pm, they are hosting a Winemaker Dinner at The Petersen Inn A featuring the cuisine of Chef Mini Dalfuoco paired to exciting new Lucas & Lewellen and Toccata wine releases. Reserve your place early to avoid the wait list.
  • Margerum’s owner Doug Margerum will be cooking up a three-course dinner for 48 people which will be paired with a selection of their wines. The evening will begin with barrel tasting and reception featuring their new Rosé. Dinner will take place among the barrels in our winery. This is a great chance to tour the facility not normally open to the public and interact with their team in an intimate setting.
  • Melville is hosting an Open House Saturday and Sunday 10-4, with pourings from their small lot collection and serving artisan cheeses and savory treats prepared by Lynn Sigafoos. Complimentary tours by reservation will also be offered at 11:30 1pm. Then at 6 pm, join winemaker Greg Brewer and the Melville family for an intimate five course dinner that will be paired with selections from their library and current release wines. Reservations are required.
  • Oreana Winery is featuring a Weekend Winedown with live music on the patio, Saturday and Sunday 2 -5pm, and 10% off purchases with Vintner’s Visa.
  • Point Concepción Wines will be open on Sunday 10-4 for a special opportunity to taste their current vintages and chat with winemaker Peter Cargasacchi.They are only open to the public three times a year, so come and take advantage! They are also offering a 10% discount with Vintner’s Visa.
  • Rancho Sisquoc is featuring  light appetizers and a 15% discount on any case purchase for Vintner’s Visa holders.
  • Rideau is host to a Vintners Festival Mardi Gras in a true New Orleans tradition. Iris will prepare of her famous Cajun/Creole inspired food that will be paired with newly released Rideau wines. Dance to the sounds of live Jazz, Funk and Blues that will fill the air. This is one event you won’t want to miss starting Saturday 11.30am!
  • Stolpman Vineyards is featuring an Educational Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Lunch in the beauty of Ballard Canyon. Join Pete, Tom and Ruben for an educational vineyard walking tour, followed by a tasting of our new releases and boxed picnic lunch Sunday at 11am. Also enjoy 10% off bottle purchases and 25% off case purchases for Vintner’s Visa holders.
  • Tercero Wines offering Visa holders a 10% discount on all purchases.
  • Zaca Mesa features live music from Sean Wiggins Sunday 10-4 in their courtyard. Epicurean Cowboy will be grilling up something amazing you can buy for a picnic. Wine by the glass available.

Explore the wide range of ticket options available for purchase on line: Vintner’s Festival, VIP Early Entry, Vintners Visa Voucher, Combo Ticket, Ultimate Combo Ticket, and Designated Driver.

Vintner’s Festival 2013 Getaway

Santa Ynez Valley MariottSpring into the season with a celebration of vintages and culinary delight. Book your stay for the 4 day Vintner’s Festival at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. As one of the featured Vinter’s Festival culinary participants, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s ownStarting Gate Restaurant features local selections prepared daily by Chef Ofelio’s culinary team.

The Santa Ynez Inn Wins National Award

Congratulations to our friends at the Santa Ynez Inn for being named one of the Top 25 Small Hotels in the United States by Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site. What makes this award so exciting is that unlike any other hotel honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world!

 The Santa Ynez Inn is a luxurious AAA-four diamond rated Santa Barbara Wine Country Hotel where you can experience Victorian grace and warm hospitality. They have a full gourmet breakfast, evening wine and hors d’oeuvres, and nightly desserts which are all included with your stay. Located just a short 35 miles north of Santa Barbara, the Santa Ynez Inn is your perfect getaway as you explore beautiful Wine Country.

Once you arrive, you can relax in 20 beautifully-decorated guestrooms with vintage antiques and furnishings, plush beds with European linens, fireplaces, garden balconies, high-speed wireless internet, flat-screen TVs, whirlpool tubs, steam showers and many more refreshing touches.

Located in the historic and quaint of Santa Ynez, the Santa Ynez Inn is surrounded by the beautiful landscapes and wineries of the Santa Barbara Wine Country. The charming towns of Solvang and Los Olivos are located within the Santa Ynez Valley making this the perfect location to explore the surrounding towns, wineries, restaurants and shops. If that wasn’t enough, the Santa Ynez Inn offers some incredible packages which will indulge you in whatever you heart desires.

Whether you are an endless romantic, or a wine fanatic, the Santa Ynez Inn will consume you with comfort and joy. Visit them any time of the year to experience one of the most magnificent getaways in the world.

Restaurant Week in Santa Ynez Valley in 2013

Written & photographed by Liz Dodder

I don’t know if 13 is a lucky number or not, but 2013 is turning out to be a fabulous number for hungry folks in the Santa Ynez Valley this Jan 20-26. That’s when you can get a 3-course meal at 16 restaurants throughout the valley for — get this —$20.13.

That is an amazing deal for high-ranked restaurants like the Ballard Inn, dishes like surf & turf and short ribs, crème brûlée and even drink deals to add on (only at some participating restaurants). It sounds like a very lucky week to me.

Succulent Cafe & Trading Co in Solvang, CA

Succulent Café & Trading Company
This is a newer restaurant to the valley, and Solvang residents are very happy about it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is full of daily specials with satisfying dishes like pan seared catfish, fresh and interesting salads, soups and large sandwiches. The charcuterie plate is made up of all in-house cured meats and they focus on local ingredients. It’s the kind of place where you can show up in your sweats and eat off your neighbor’s plate, all enjoying a hearty gourmet meal.

Succulent Cafe & Trading Co in Solvang, CA

The buttermilk fried chicken salad has tender, moist chicken with a perfect crunch and the chef’s salad is a twist on the original including house-made charcuterie, artisan cheeses and picked vegetables. Seasonal salads like the honey roasted organic root vegetable salad also include Humboldt fog goat cheese and sherry vinaigrette.

For restaurant week, look forward to soup or Caesar salad, surf & turf – filet mignon with horseradish mased potato and a corn & crab cake, plus bread budding with bourbon whipped cream and caramel.

The Ballard Inn
The restaurant at the charming Ballard Inn is one of the most highly-rated restaurants in the valley. Chef Budi Kazali is a classically trained chef with experience in some of the best restaurants in the east and west coats – including those holding an acclaimed James Beard award. His Asian and French influences, attending to details and expertise in melding flavors of east, west and hyper-local makes the restaurant at the Ballard Inn a top choice.

Ballard Inn

My favorite meal was in the last days before the California ban on foie gras, when we could order extra foie gras atop any main dish on the menu. Add foie to anything on the menu! One of Budi’s specialties is pan seared duck breast, pictured above. With a thick slab of grilled foie served alongside, it became an indulgent dish we affectionately nicknamed “Duck Duck Foie.”

For restaurant week, get a sesame Caesar salad, grilled pork chop with mustard sauce and caramel pot de crème. Get your reservations early!

This is the third of Petros Benekos’ restaurants in southern California, where he serves up high-quality, delicious and authentic Greek dishes in beautiful spaces. The Fess Parker Inn in Los Olivos is where you’ll find this gem.

Petros Restaurant in Los Olivos, CA

Order anything with lamb on the menu and you won’t go wrong: grilled lamb sandwich, lamb pizza or lamb tacos when you can find them. Also great are the dip plate — kafteri, melizonasalata, tzatzkiki, fava and taramosalata — and shrimp saganaki. You will also find the best charred and grilled octopus outside of Spain.

Petros Restaurant in Los Olivos, CA

During restaurant week, choose between an arugula salad with confite tomatoes or Louiza salad, then keftethes (traditional Greek meatballs) or Horatiki Greek pizza. For dessert, you gotsa have the Bougatsa (vanilla bean custard wrapped in phyllo serve with ice cream) or you can have Petros’ special baklava, made the traditional way and soaked with citrus syrup and served with ice cream.

May you all have good luck this Jan 20-26!

Sip, Taste, Buy! Great Selection of Wines at Avant

This time of year tends to be a bit busy.  Along with the normal work grind, we have shopping, decorating, childrens’ holiday performances, numerous parties and open houses.  While fun and festive, it is a bit overwhelming as well.  We decided to take a few hours and escape the hecticness.  What better way to do that than wine tasting?!

So, what to taste….?  With the abundance of great wines here in the Valley, the possibilities are endless.  We decided to 1) stay local and 2) try wines or producers that we haven’t had before.  Here’s what we tasted.

Vincent Vineyards 2010 Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley)

We recently had the pleasure of tasting this newly released Sauvignon Blanc.  This was the first time we tasted wine from this producer, and we were pleasantly surprised.  The straw colored wine has an amazing nose that grips your interest immediately.  Tons of citrus waff out of the glass, igniting the salivary glands.  The flavors do indeed deliver a citrus punch (grapefruit, lime), joined with underlying hints of green apple and a gripping minerality (wet stone).  This wine has a nice acidity, and while crisp, it is extremely balanced.  The minerality is the star of the show here. It really creates a complexity to this wine with a very viscous mouthfeel and a lengthy clean finish.

This wine is laid back enough to have with tuna sandwiches, Kettle Spicy Thai potato chips and sugar cookies. (Yes, we drank this with our lunch).  But, it is serious enough to pair with oysters (of course), bacon wrapped scallops, or grilled chicken with lemon and fresh herbs.

Falcone 2010 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)

This golden yellow beauty is very inviting.  Aromas of pears and apples mixed with a slight smokiness are very interesting.  There are flavors of meyer lemons, caramel and oak. This wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels (25% new oak), and you can definitely taste it.  However, this is not a heavy, buttery Chardonnay.   It has good minerality which gives the wine great texture.  The body of this wine is impressive and carries through to a smooth, rich, lasting finish.  This wine is a refreshing take on California Chardonnay.

This wine would pair wonderfully with gougères, cheese soufflé, roast chicken, or lobster pasta with an herbed butter sauce.

Hitching Post 2008 Highliner Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County)

This may be the best Hitching Post Pinot Noir we have ever had!  Or, at least our favorite to date.  This pale brick red Pinot delivers everything you would expect.  On the nose there are classic red fruits (cranberries, raspberries) and a whisper of an ocean breeze.  (It is Santa Barbara…).  Bright fruit flavors (cherries, cranberries) are dominant, but kept in check by the wood notes (cedar), hints of mint and baking spices.  This medium bodied wine is silky and smooth.  The Highliner has genuine complexity and a rich finish.  The Highliner is meant to represent their best Pinot effort, and we believe they nailed it.

In true Pinot fashion, this wine is extremely food friendly and will pair nicely with just about anything.  We like it with an elaborate cheese plate, charcuterie, mushroom risotto or prime rib.  This wine is the perfect pick for your holiday meals and celebrations.

Di Bruno 2008 Sangiovese (Santa Barbara County)

This is no Old World Sangiovese, but is it ever great!  Deep red in color, the bouquet is quite enthralling.  Tobacco, cherries, spices and oak.  In the mouth, again, cherries and tobacco, with hints of leather and fairly strong oak notes. This wine, while very oaky, is not overdone in any way.  It is very balanced with fruit and spice and everything is right where it belongs.  It has a terrific weight and is very creamy and seamless.  Medium to full bodied, it offers light tannins that make this wine easy to sip alone or have with a meal.

This is a great food wine and it begs for a rare steak, but would also be great with chicken marsala, lasagne or a mildly spicy salsicce.

All of these wines are available for tasting, drinking or purchase at Avant Tapas and Wine in Buellton.  Not only are they available there, but they were all produced on site as well, at Terravant, the adjoining world class wine production facility.  Terravant is producing stellar wine for more than 20 wine labels here in our valley.  We highly suggest stopping in for your own break in the holiday action.  Have a bite, a glass, or taste from the amazing wall of wines.  Tasting wines before purchasing is a true treat in itself.  Grab yourself a few bottles and truly enjoy the holidays!  Cheers.

Avant Tapas and Wines 

Vincent Vineyards

Falcone Family Vineyards

Hitching Post Wines


Wine Country Holiday Gift Ideas

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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