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Family Friendly Wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley

June 26, 2017

 

Just because you're a parent doesn't mean that you have to stop going wine tasting, especially if that's your thing (believe us, it's ours). The Santa Ynez Valley (also known as Santa Barbara wine country) is just a short drive from LA and has an abundance of amazing wine being produced that can yield a very lovely wine weekend with the kids.

 

When you think of wine tasting, typically what comes to mind are small indoor tasting rooms that are typically only furnished with tall shelves stacked with an abundance of breakable items. Which usually results in creating a dangerous and expensive echo chamber where every loud screech or cry from your child is magnified. Sounds like a nightmare, right?

 

We've discovered that the key to a successful wine tasting adventure is to choose wineries with large outdoor areas where you can taste wine while the kids can run off and play and you can still keep an eye on them.

 

Here are some of our recommendations:

 

Melville

 

5185 East Hwy 246

Lompoc, CA 93436

One of our favorite wineries to visit because of it’s grassy outdoor expanse for the kids to run around, along with some of the highest quality wines in the region. A little bit out of the way for most places you’d stay in the Santa Ynez Valley, but well worth the trip.

 

Sunstone

125 North Refugio Rd

Santa Ynez, CA 93460

Gorgeous outdoor tasting area with a large lawn and outdoor games like bocce and cornhole. Lots of room for running and playing.

 

Andrew Murray

5249 Foxen Canyon Rd

Los Olivos, CA 93441

Andrew Murray has a nicely sized outdoor area for tasting (you could even park your car close to a picnic table if you have an unexpected car nap). They also have some great outdoor games like jenga and ladder toss.

 

Beckman

2670 Ontiveros Rd

Los Olivos, CA 93441

Beckman has a very lovely outdoor patios with tables and chairs for outdoor tastings and lunch. Make sure to call ahead and make reservations for those. Lots of wide open outdoor space for the kids to play. Beware that there is a large pond and stream that inquisitive toddlers might want to go for a dip in.

 

Koehler

53360 Foxen Canyon Rd

Los Olivos, CA 93441

Expansive outdoor grassy area for playing and your kids might get a kick out of the fact that they have emus in a pen at the far end of the grass!

 

Fess Parker

6200 Foxen Canyon Rd

Los Olivos, CA 93441

Lush grounds, with lots of lawn and patio space for tastings. Bring a blanket and have a picnic under the trees!

 

Pence Ranch & Winery

1909 W. 246

Buellton, CA 93427

Tours and tastings by appointment only. The tastings here are really great with super knowledgeable staff. Request a tasting in the canyon (it's a short walk from the parking lot, not stroller-friendly) and you won't be disappointed. The property is absolutely beautiful.

 

 

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