My sister and brother-in-law came to Cali this past August ('09), from New Jersey, partially with the intent of taking a nice tour of the Santa Barbara Wine Country with my wife and I. I was put in charge of setting this up. Wow, the pressure! I did not want to let my family down. This tour had to be the best ever! After researching several companies, I was most impressed with Sustainable Vine Wine Tour's website, and what it represented. A natural approach to growing grape varieties and doing so in an environmentally friendly manner. Pricing, was competitive with others examined. Mission, accomplished.
Bryan, owner and tour guide, provided the four of us with an incredible experience. If you visit Santa Barbara, you should absolutely not miss this tour. He was prompt in picking us up at our B & B, Santa Barbara. You travel in a very comfortable air conditioned van, that is "bio-fueled," with plenty of visibility to take in the incredibly beautiful Santa Barbara wine country. An organic, gourmet, picnic lunch is provided and you enjoy this... literally, among the vines, in one of the vineyards visited. Bryan, has his tours well planned and is extremely accommdating to his guests. He makes you feel very comfortable and even though my party were novices in wine expertise, Bryan happily provided answers to all our questions. Bryan, clearly loves his job, or should I say "passion." You quickly catch on that he truly knows his passion, and has a great relationship with the vineyard owners.
We visited 3 vineyards. Bryan recomended this as it allows more time, at each vineyard, to truly get to learn and experience the real essence of each. He had asked us to choose the 3 based upon our preferences, after viewing descriptions of them on his website. Make sure to include cameras, and comfortable clothes. You will want to take plenty of photos, and depending upon the season, you want to enjoy the wonderful Santa Barbara climate. Even though we were nearing the scheduled end of our tour, Bryan happily obliged my wife and I with a "side trip" to Neverland Ranch. *Important note: Bryan did this without hesitation and knowing that this would add considerable time to our tour. He never mentioned a hint that he would have to charge extra for this.
I could go on, but I will spare you. I will close by saying that it is not often that I feel so compelled to comment on an experience. If you have the opportunity, take it. You will absolutely not be disappointed.
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