The variety of wine touring experiences offered in Santa Barbara wine country are just as diverse and delicious as the varietals of fine wine awaiting your taste buds. Thanks to the many microclimates in the county, more than 50 different types of wine grapes thrive here. Add 200 local wineries to the mix—each with its own unique style—and you’ve truly got an abundance of choice. The “challenge” is narrowing it down to a manageable itinerary.
Experiencing Santa Barbara wine country under the guidance of local experts is truly the best way to navigate the robust array of options. Plus, you’ll benefit from the added convenience of a designated driver. Tour operators like Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours specialize in creating memorable guided tasting experiences suited to different budgets and pairing preferences. You choose your wine adventure and they handle all of the planning and details, from pick-up to drop-off.
On a budget?
Those on a budget can take advantage of Santa Barbara Wine Country Tour’s newest offering, the Wine Country Shuttle. For just $69 per person, you get roundtrip transportation to and from your hotel as well as pick up and drop off at select wineries and optional attractions like a lavender farm and olive oil tasting room. You get to customize your tour and can also take advantage of special discounts on tasting fees and treats. One of the most popular shuttle stops is the charming town of Los Olivos, where you can sip and shop to your heart’s content. Learn More
You get even more bang for your buck on the all-inclusive Santa Ynez Valley Tour that runs $139 per person. Even better, if you go Sunday through Friday, you can save $10 with the promo code WINEDAY. In addition to the transportation and knowledgeable guide, this classic package includes the costs of tastings at three gorgeous vineyards, a picnic lunch made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients and additional sightseeing stops, time permitting. Learn More
Sipping with Sweets
If you enjoy sweet treats, consider the one-of-a-kind Cupcake and Wine Tour, which has been featured on numerous travel TV shows. This signature experience includes a cupcake tasting at Enjoy Cupcakes in Los Olivos in between winery visits. The adorable, gourmet mini cupcakes are wine-infused, so they pair very well with wine. With flavors like Pomegranate Mango Chardonnay and Chocolate Blackberry Syrah and their incredibly Instagrammable cuteness, this is a match made in dessert heaven. A deli-style picnic lunch is also included in the $149 fee—the midweek $10 discount code can be applied to this one too. Learn More
Wine and Adventure
Active types gravitate towards the scenic Wine and Bike Tour that includes a leisurely spin through Ballard Canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley. You’ll pedal along bucolic back roads, passing by picturesque vineyards and ranches. This tour includes stops at two wineries for tastings and a picnic lunch, and the winemakers themselves often make appearances. The biking portion of the tour is fully supported by an air-conditioned van, so guests can opt to hop in at any point between wineries—no judgement! There’s a four-person minimum for the $149 rate and discounts are offered for parties of eight or more. Learn More
All Santa Barbara Wine County Tours can be upgraded to a private tour for an extra exclusive experience, including behind the scenes winery tours and by-appointment only tasting rooms. Tours are bookable online, and we recommend calling (805-884-9283) for more personalized service and customization. Your wine day is waiting!