Dracaena Wines

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Central Coast- Final Day

Well, our trip is coming to an end. This is our last day on the “Right Coast”. We will be heading back to the “Wrong Coast” tomorrow.  Today was all about pleasure. We are just going out and tasting some wine. Of course, we are always looking for some Cab Franc!  


Rancho Sisquoc

Tasting fee is $10 and you can choose any six wines. You get to keep the logo glass. They are open Monday-Thursday 10-4 and Friday-Sunday 10-5. This is a trek to get here. Once you turn off Foxen Canyon Road it is about another two miles into the farm area. Be careful on this road, there are A LOT of quail running across the road. There is load of shade here. While sitting outside you can hear the cattle. I really liked the outside here. I could sit and chill. We made no purchases. 
Foxen
There are actually two tasting rooms. The winery us known as 7600(address) and just up the road about a quarter of a mile is 7200, known as the “shack”  If you would like to taste at both, sadly they charge you both times, but the wines are different at the two locations. We tasted at 7600.

Tasting fee is $10 at each location. If you purchase three bottles of wine the tasting fee is applied to your purchase. They are open daily 11-4.  There are two tasting bars with a room in the back for private tastings. The picnic area is out back and there is no shade here. We made no purchases.

Zaca Mesa
I’m a little confused because there is no mention of a tasting fee, but they have a sign that states 2 for 1 tasting if you “like” or “follow” them on social media. You can choose between two tasting options. The first is Reds & Whites, while the second option is Reds Only. Outside, by the parking lot, which has no shade, there use to be a hiking trail that allowed for views of the valley. Sadly, it has been washed away. So now, although the sign is there you can take a very short stroll, and see the picnic area. The  vineyards were planted in 1973 and it is one of the first wineries established in Santa Barbara county after prohibition.  They hold events in the picnic courtyard regularly for a fee. (July 26,2014 is comedy night -$25). We purchased one 2010 Z Three (Rhone blend) 
Fess Parker
There is a $12 tasting fee that is refundable with a three bottle purchase. If you are staying at the Inn, the tasting is complimentary. There is a covered deck that has several areas to sit and enjoy their wine. There are two tasting bars inside. They are open daily 10-5. In terms of parking, if you back in you can find some shade. They have a second label called Epiphany which are the more eclectic grapes such as Grenache, Petite Sirah and Mourvèdre and are poured out of a separate tasting room in downtown Los Olivos. We purchased two 2012 Chardonnay. 
For the remainder of the day we have decided to head to downtown Los Olivos. This area has a lot of wineries all within walking distance. Additionally, there are cafes and restaurants. Historically speaking, Los Olivos was part of the stage coach route that ran from San Francisco to San Diego. The first hotel, Mattei’s, opened in 1887. Land auctions were held to create the town of Los Olivos. It is a very cute down, but be aware that there sewege system here is very poor, so tasting rooms are not allowed to have bathrooms for public use. There is a section of public bathrooms. (Port-a-potties/Johnnies-on-the-Go).  I have to admit, that is a big downfall for me, but we keep coming back for the wines. 

A picture of the Main Street in Los Olivos. The flagpole is at the center of town. Since this is a walking town, we are going to be going in and out if several wineries. I will try to just summarize, since these wineries are all storefronts. Due to alcohol laws, most wineries follow the same hours of operation 11-5. The tasting fees vary between $10 and $15. The refundable fee with purchase also varies. 
All the wineries and shops are cute country storefronts. It is such a nice place to just stroll and look around. Plenty of food shops to counter the wine. Great place to sit and enjoy a pannini. 

Hummingbirds outside one of the tasting rooms. I love hummingbirds. I have turned two sections of our yard into hummingbird friendly gardens. I have planted flowers specific to the liking of hummingbirds.  I make new sugar water weekly and I have four feeders – yet I can only get two hummingbirds a year! (Guessing they are the same two) They are so plentiful here, they put a huge smile on my face.  (me and my animals, again)
One of the things I love doing on vacations is visiting churches. To be honest, I’m really not that religious of an individual, but I find church architecture so beautiful. We found St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley around the corner from the main road. What a beautiful church and very hip. They are on all the social media venues!  The courtyard is a beautiful and peaceful place to sit and relax.  (Oh, and the best find – they have actual bathrooms-a well kept secret)

I had to take a picture of this. Look at the size of those wind chimes. They are HUGE! The sound they make is just magnificent! Can you guess the price? ……………………………………………..($3500)

This is a shaded picnic area right in the center of downtown. For perspective, this area is at the same corner as the flagpole. 
Our purchases while in Los Olivos:
-Two 2008 Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Alta Maria Vineyards
-One 2012 Espérance GSM from Andrew Murray
– Two 2012 Nielson Vineyard Chardonnay from Byron
Sadly, our tasting trip has come to an end. Tonight we will go back to Santa Maria, hopefully see a ghost or two, and spend the night. Tomorrow we will wake up and head south to LAX. Hopefully we won’t hit too much traffic.  We are heading home to NJ tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed following our adventure and remember to keep your eye out for our 2013 Cab Franc.  We are bottling in March and will be available for sale a few month after!
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Sláinte!