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Love and Wine: Three Romantic Wineries For Two

Love and Wine: Three Romantic Wineries For Two

Love and wine… Now that’s a great wine pairing! Naturally, I get very passionate when I talk about wine. I always find ways to pair wine with the best food, people I love, and the most enjoyable destinations. It’s the triangle of love, and it brings me to write about some of the most romantic wineries for two people. When you think of wine country in California, you usually think of Napa Valley or Sonoma. But on the central coast of California, just a couple of hours north of Los Angeles, the Santa Ynez Valley is slowly becoming the hottest spot for fine wines. Let’s take a look at some of the most amorous wine tasting locations in the area.

Escape to Love: The Ultimate Romantic Winery Getaway

The Santa Ynez Valley – A Grape Escape

I just can’t resist a good wine pun ;)

First, let me tell you about this amazing region. The Santa Ynez Valley covers over 76,000 acres of land, which includes a Chumash Indians Reservation near the small town of Solvang. It is home to many wineries and contains four district AVA’s (American Viticultural Area): Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon, Ballard Canyon, and the Los Olivos District.

The Region’s Climates and Microclimates

Proximity to the Pacific ocean contributes to the region’s clement weather, enough to make you wonder why you haven’t already moved there. The constant coastal breeze helps to moderate temperatures and create a long growing season. Each one of the four areas benefits from a separate microclimates, making it more suitable to grow many different varietals. Sta. Rita Hills is known for top quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Happy Canyon is host to some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the region, while the moderately warmer climates of Los Olivos and Ballard Canyon can sustain a wider range of grapes such as Rhône varietals.

The Region’s Sustainability Efforts

Another important factor to mention is the region’s commitment to sustainable farming practices. Many of the region’s winemakers have adopted organic and biodynamic farming methods, which not only help to preserve the health of the soil and the environment but also result in natural wines with more complex and nuanced flavors. So if you’re planning a romantic wine tasting weekend getaway in Santa Ynez, make it green!

I’ve written many articles about sustainability practices in the wine industry. Those global efforts make us feel better about our overall impact on the planet. We only have the one, so let’s do everything we can to make sure we can keep it for a little longer. I wholeheartedly support those practices and always favor sustainable over conventional wineries. That’s just a personal choice.

Romantic Wineries By The Dozens

With four recognized AVA’s present in the Santa Ynez Valley, there is no shortage of exceptional wines and wineries for the most romantic wine tastings. Just a few miles north of Los Angeles, you and your partner can enjoy memorable moments together at some of the most attractive wineries in the region. But there are so many! How do we choose? Well, let us ponder together the ultimate romantic winery getaway list!

• Gainey Vineyard – A Wine Escape

Romantic Winery For Two – Gainey VineyardSomewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco, amid the rolling hills, two-lane roads and dude ranches, vineyards are sprouting up all over the Santa Ynez country side. And some of those vineyards belong to the Gainey Winery. The Gainey story started more than 60 years ago, when the family acquired 1,800 acres of undeveloped land. On that land, and what they call the “Home Ranch,” they ran cattle and horses while growing 600 acres of fruit, vegetables, flowers and hay. In 1984, they converted 50 acres to grapevines and Gainey Vineyard was born. This new birth has turned into a beautifully vibrant location for wine lovers across the country.

The Winery

Romantic Winery For Two – Laurent & Géraldine

Surrounded by stacked-up wine barrels, the large tasting room is beautifully decorated. If you’re one of the fortunate club members, you will get access to the club lounge, which features large leather chairs and a fire place. You can choose to sit inside or ask to be seated outside. The outside area is just as beautiful as the inside. Increase the romantic wine tasting score by sipping wine under one of the many oak trees, conveniently located next to the Gainey vineyards. Wine tasting starts at 11 am and I recommend an early start. You’ll avoid the crowds and the wind which tends to pick up around mid-afternoon. Furthermore, there’s absolutely no problem with day drinking when you’re in Santa Ynez… Because it is 5 o’clock somewhere ;)

Here is what Deana had to say about her recent visit: “Love, love this place! The wine is outstanding, Everything was great! Thank you so much!”

• Star Lane & Dierberg Vineyards – A World Class Experience

Romantic Winery For Two – Starlane VineyardJust about 2 weeks ago, Steve and I were invited to the winery’s Annual Blending Event during which we met winemaker Tyler Thomas and the rest of the team (more on that in a future article). The winery is located in Happy Canyon, just 5 miles North East of Solvang. I have visited plenty of wineries in various countries but Star Lane is arguably one of the most spectacular wineries I’ve ever been to.

The Star Lane experience starts well before you even get to the winery, with a stunning scenic drive that will make you forget where you live. After crossing the estate’s main gate, the journey continues for a couple of miles on a narrow road that literally takes you through the estate’s vineyards. After a couple of miles driving though grapevines and rolling hills, the winery proudly greets visitors and wine aficionados.

The Winery

As if the drive wasn’t enough, the winery itself is a sight to behold. I knew what the property looked like and yet, I still was blown away by the striking beauty of the place. In spite of its recent architectural style, the winery exudes a powerful aura reminiscent of an old world underground cellar. The winery’s massive temperature-controlled subterranean caves are designed to age the wine in perfect harmony, with stacked-up wine barrels as far as the eye can see.

Romantic Winery For Two – Star Lane Winery
Image Source & Credits – Courtesy of Star Lane Vineyard

Star Lane is known for their world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and other bordelaise varietals. They are all exquisite and will complement your overall wine experience like bread and butter. Make sure to taste their claim to fame “Astral Cabernet Sauvignon,” which scored a whopping 98 points from world-renowned wine critic Jeb Dunnuck. Visiting the caves is limited and by appointment only so I strongly suggest checking with the team first.

Here is what Vinay and his wife said about their experience: “The entire experience was magical. The estate is massive and gorgeous. The views are spectacular and each wine sample was blowing our mind.”

• Sunstone Winery – A Portal To Provence

Romantic Winery For Two – Sunstone WineryNamed after the vineyard estate’s sun-dappled shale and stones, Sunstone seemingly transports visitors to the Provençal French countryside. Being from the south of France myself, this winery reminds me of home. And yet, I don’t have to get on a plane or go through security to get there. Oh and there are no limitations as to how many bottles you can bring back ;)

Other than the fact that everyone speaks English, this place is pretty darn close to the ooh’s and aah’s of the South of France. Come on, say with me… Oh la la!

The Winery

Sunstone Winery is one of the first organic vineyard estates in Santa Barbara County, and considered to be one of the most visually stunning wine destinations in California. Upon arrival, guests enter the winery’s inviting courtyards, leading to the expansive picnic grounds and the gorgeous stone tasting room and barrel aging caves, recalling the rustic homes of the Provence countryside.

Romantic Winery For Two – Sunstone Winery
Image Source & Credits – Courtesy of Sunstone Winery

Perched on the hillside above the winery is “The Villa”, an architectural masterpiece built from French reclaimed materials, and reserved for private events. This place is so mesmerizing, words would never be able to describe the feelings I get when walking through the property.

A majority of Sunstone’s wines are Bordeaux & Rhône varietals, with a handful of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Most of those wines range from 90 to 93 points on the Wine Enthusiast score scale. So what are you waiting for?! Put on your French béret, and go enjoy one of the most romantic wineries in the Provence countryside of California. No passport needed, but a credit card is recommended ;)

Claudia said in a recent review: “Lovely place! Had so much fun wine tasting today! Perfect weather in Santa Ynez, today. We had a GREAT day drinking yummy wine!”

• The V Wine Room – Your Local Wine Treat

The V Wine Room – A True Sanctuary For All Wine Lovers.
Image Source & Credits – Courtesy of V Wine Room

There’s one additional place worth mentioning… It’s not another one of those rhapsodically romantic wineries but you’ll still find yourself surrounded by wine bottles, quite literally. I met a friend of mine there a few weeks ago and I fell in love! With the place… Not my friend.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, this place is the best escape from the hustle and bustle of a big city. The V Wine Room has been one of West Hollywood’s best kept secrets for over ten years. Furthermore, some would call it a true sanctuary for all wine lovers. Housed in a historic building, it was a library from 1929 to 1941, after which it became a studio for actor / filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.

V Wine Room opened its doors in February 2013 and quickly became a beloved, neighborhood wine bar. In fact, they stock a significant number of wines from small, California producers, as well as a variety of lovely wines from all over the world. Dimmed lighting and soft background music is just a mere taste of the overall experience. Enjoy amazing wines along with charcuterie boards in a quaint setting that has the delicate ability to make you feel at home. You’re welcome!

Romantic Wine Tasting Wrap-Up

So there you have it! With these options, you’ll explore some of the most romantic wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. That’s perfect for couples looking for a more intimate wine tasting experience. You’ll discover dreamy destinations where love and wine come together beautifully. Wow, could I be more mawkish? Get in your car and start driving to Santa Ynez with your special someone! Indulge in a romantic getaway to the most enchanting wineries that promise a memorable wine experience for two. Yikes, I just can’t help myself.

Alright, I’m done now… Off you go!

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