NAPA's Got Nothing on LA-PA: A 2016 Guide to LA's Best Wineries

April 20, 2016

The truth is, you don’t have to go far for some of the best wine in the world if you live anywhere on the west coast. BUT, why travel all the way to NAPA when you have some of the best of the best wine right in your own backyard?

In fact, if you live in LA you have access to six separate AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) without even leaving the county, meaning six distinct plots with unique conditions for growing (and eventually making) wine. To break it down, if you put the same grape in the ground in each AVA, the varied conditions would likely make the same grape taste completely different.

What does this mean for you? It means you have a lot of catching up to do, to discover the many flavors of your home turf!

From Discover California Wines, here are 6 wineries listed in the near-LA region. After deciding which ones are right for you. check out our tours and visit a few in one day!

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    Catalina Happy Hour Tour

    Wrap up your beach day with a bit of a buzz. You will weave your way through downtown Avalon, where you'll sample six specialty cocktails and shots on this fun-filled tour! Your tour includes some light appetizers, which will help to keep you steady on your feet. You'll discover the best watering holes to return to, sample creative concoctions that Catalina is known for, and receive the lowdown on nightlife in Avalon. Stops include Coyote Joe's, Luau Larry's, Maggie's Blue Rose, Bluewater Avalon, and the Marlin Club. With your enthusiastic guide and new drinking buddies, you'll feel like you're drinking with friends in your hometown bar.
    Catalina Happy Hour Tour

    Catalina Ave, Avalon

    • Enjoy a fascinating tour of the best bars and restaurants in Catalina
    • Sample 6 different creative cocktails and shots
    • Snack on light appetizers to help keep you going through the tour
    • Get the inside scoop on Catalina's nightlife scene
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    Wine & Painting Hilton Garden Inn (Irvine)

    Uncork your creativity with a painting class held in full service restaurant and bar! During this exciting event, you'll paint in tandem with a professional artist, working step-by-step to create a featured work. Designed for artists of all abilities, this activity is a great way to brush up on your skills by learning through mimicry. Plus, by the end of the class, you'll have a fantastic, self-made piece to take home with you! But painting is only half the fun, as you're free to order drinks from the bar to "supplement" your creative prowess as you go. After all, great art should to be intoxicating, right?
    Wine & Painting Hilton Garden Inn (Irvine)

    2381 Morse Ave,, Irvine

    • Learn to paint step-by-step during a social painting party held in a full service bar
    • Pick up useful painting tips from a professional artist as you recreate a featured painting
    • Enhance the fun and get your creative juices flowing with drinks from the bar
    • Embrace your creative side and let loose during a unique, fun-filled event
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    246 Winery Tour

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    We can all a-grigio that a tour through wineries in Santa Barbara is nothing to wine about. Come experience Santa Barbara's "Wine Country" on this fantastic tour! During the experience you'll visit 4 gorgeous wineries, led from door-to-door by your experienced guide. You'll get a chance to culture your palate as you taste a variety of wines and munch on some lite snacks. At each stop you'll get a little bit of insight into the winemaking process and see what goes into your favorite beverages -- from grape to glass! If that doesn't sound good to you -- just put a cork in it!
    246 Winery Tour

    1045 Lompoc, Los Angeles

    • Sip delicious varieties of wine at four different wineries
    • Learn about the process of winemaking -- from grape to glass!
    • Enjoy door to door service to your different stops, provided by your tour guide
    • Have fun while becoming a wine connoisseur!
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    Sunday Funday Pub Crawl (Lower Level)

    Who says all your weekend fun has to happen on Friday and Saturday? Sunday gets a whole new look with this coastal pub crawl! You'll visit four popular Irish pubs in Long Beach during this fun social event, traveling in style aboard a double-decker bus. At each stop you visit, you'll receive happy hour discounts, and included appetizers at three venues. This is a great opportunity to let loose with friends, and make some new acquaintances in the process! Bottom's up!
    Sunday Funday Pub Crawl (Lower Level)

    6575 Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach

    • Treat yourself to a Sunday pub crawl featuring transportation aboard a double-decker bus
    • Visit four Irish pubs in Long Beach and enjoy happy hour discounts at each
    • Scarf down buffet-style appetizers at three venues
    • Relax with friends and meet new ones during a fun, social event
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    Deluxe Champagne Airplane Tour

    Don't miss this chance to see Los Angeles from the air on a deluxe Champagne airplane tour! This ride is the best way to see this sprawling, ocean-side city. 

    Begin your tour by propelling over Long Beach and LA's harbor. Fly around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, up through the beach cities of Hermosa, Redondo, Manhattan and Marina Del Rey, and over to the Santa Monica Mountains. Then soar over the Getty Center, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and some of the celebrity homes in Beverly Hills! Finally, fly over the Hollywood Hills, Universal Studios, Dodger Stadium and the downtown skyscrapers before heading back to the landing strip.

    This deluxe air tour is one of the most popular airplane experiences in LA and offers the chance to discover the city while you enjoy a bottle of Champagne.
    Deluxe Champagne Airplane Tour

    San Pedro Cruise Port, Los Angeles

    • Take to the skies for a Hollywood tour by airplane
    • Visit world-famous locations as you sip champagne
    • Enjoy unforgettable views of Marina del Rey, Manhattan Beach, the Getty Center, downtown Los Angeles, and the Hollywood sign
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    Deluxe Champagne Airplane Tour

    Begin this tour by propelling through Long Beach and LA's Harbor. Fly around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, up through the beach cities of Hermosa, Redondo, Manhattan and Marina Del Rey and over to the Santa Monica Mountains. Then soar over the Getty Center, Brentwood, the Pacific Palisades and over some of Beverly Hills' celebrity homes! Finally, fly over the Hollywood Hills, Universal Studios, Dodger Stadium and downtown skyscrapers before heading back. The Deluxe Champagne Tour allows plenty of time to discover LA from the air, while relaxing and enjoying a bottle of champagne. This is one of the most popular LA airplane tours and is one of the cheapest ways you can see LA from the sky in an airplane! Enjoy spectacular views of:
    • Long Beach Skyscrapers
    • The Queen Mary
    • L.A. Harbor
    • World Cruise Center
    • Ports-O-Call Village
    • Palos Verdes Estates
    • The cliffs off Palos Verdes Peninsula
    • Rolling Hills Estates (USA's "Top 5 Highest Income Per Capita" ... stunning homes)
    • Cabrillo Beach
    • Manhattan Beach
    • Hermosa Beach
    • Redondo Beach and Pier
    • San Pedro
    • The South Bay (LA's Underrated Peninsula)
    • Famous Celebrity Homes and Landmarks
    • Spectacular View of Downtown Los Angeles
    • The Staples Center
    • L.A. Coliseum
    • Television City
    • The Beverly Center
    • Century City
    • Getty Center
    • Bel Air
    • Beverly Hills
    • Hollywood Bowl
    • Hollywood Sign
    • Griffith Park Observatory
    • Dodgers Stadium, and more...
    Note: The listed price does not include a $10 per person fuel surcharge, payable at the time of tour check-in. The fuel surcharge is required by our local supplier and is not within our control.
    Deluxe Champagne Airplane Tour

    901 W Alondra Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Travel from the Palos Verdes Peninsula and up the coast through the Santa Monica Mountains
    • Enjoy unforgettable views of L.A. Harbor, Rolling Hills Estates, Downtown Los Angeles, and the Hollywood Sign
    • Discover LA from the air as you sip champagne
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    Deluxe Champagne Airplane Tour

    Your luxurious airplane tour begins with pickup by mini-limousine from either Long Beach or San Pedro port. Your awaiting plane will first fly above Long Beach and LA's harbor. Then make your way around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, up past the beach cities of Hermosa, Redondo, Manhattan and Marina Del Rey, and over to the Santa Monica Mountains.

    Then soar over the Getty Center, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and some celebrity homes in Beverly Hills! Finally, fly over the Hollywood Hills, Universal Studios, Dodger Stadium and the downtown skyscrapers before heading back to the landing strip.

    This deluxe air tour is one of the most popular flying experiences in LA and offers the chance to discover the city while you enjoy a bottle of Champagne. Enjoy spectacular views of:
    • Long Beach skyscrapers
    • The Queen Mary
    • LA harbor
    • World Cruise Center
    • Ports-O-Call Village
    • Palos Verdes Estates
    • The cliffs off Palos Verdes Peninsula
    • Rolling Hills Estates
    • Cabrillo Beach
    • Manhattan, Hermosa & Redondo beaches
    • San Pedro
    • The South Bay (LA's "underrated peninsula")
    • Famous celebrity homes and landmarks
    • Downtown Los Angeles
    • The Staples Center
    • LA Colosseum
    • Television City
    • The Beverly Center
    • Century City
    • Getty Center
    • Bel Air
    • Beverly Hills
    • Hollywood Bowl
    • Hollywood sign
    • Griffith Park Observatory
    • Dodgers Stadium
    Note: The listed price does not include a $10 per person fuel surcharge, payable at the time of tour check-in. The fuel surcharge is required by our local supplier and is not within our control.
    Deluxe Champagne Airplane Tour

    San Pedro Cruise Port, Los Angeles

    • Visit the beautiful and famous sights of the City of Angels while sipping complimentary Champagne
    • Enjoy spectacular views of Beverly Hills, downtown Los Angeles, and the Hollywood sign
    • Travel in style with round-trip transport in a mini-limousine from either San Pedro or Long Beach port
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    Ballard Canyon Ride with Wine & Lunch

    Wine isn't the only thing that will get you spinning in Santa Ynez Valley. Bicycles do the trick, too! During this half-day tour, you'll ride through the heart of the valley alongside a local guide. As you go, you'll find yourself surrounded by beautiful countryside, including both orchards and vineyards. In addition to the scenery, you'll also enjoy an olive oil tasting in Los Olivos. You'll then find your way to a local winery, where you'll learn about the local wine culture. There, you'll settle down to a gourmet picnic lunch, and take part in a guided wine tasting. You'll end your day with a leisurely ride through Ballard Canyon, on your way back to Solvang! Maybe take it easy on the wine if you intend on getting back on that bike.
    Ballard Canyon Ride with Wine & Lunch

    1693 Mission Dr, Solvang

    • Enjoy a 12-18 mile bike ride through scenic Santa Ynez Valley
    • Stop by an olive oil tasting room for a guided sampling
    • Visit a local winery where you'll enjoy a picnic lunch and tasting
    • Ride through Ballard Canyon on the way back to the bike shop
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    Leisure Valley Ride with Wine & Lunch

    Looking for a fun, physical spin on the usual wine tour? With its rolling hills, vineyards, and family farms, Santa Ynez Valley is the perfect setting for a leisurely bike ride! During this guided cycle, you'll spend a half day biking between three different destinations, learning as you go from a local guide. First up, you'll stop at Clairmont Lavender Farms, where you'll watch as fresh lavender is methodologically pressed into aromatic oil. Then, you'll bike to a local olive oil tasting room to sample locally crafted olive oils and vinegars. Of course, you can't tour Santa Ynez without a little vino. Your final stop will be at a local winery, where you'll be able to learn about the local wine industry. A gourmet picnic lunch and wine tasting are included! #BikeBliss
    Leisure Valley Ride with Wine & Lunch

    1693 Mission Dr, Solvang

    • Treat yourself to a 10-15-mile bike tour of Santa Ynez Valley
    • Stop at a lavender farm to learn how lavender oil is made
    • Visit an olive oil tasting room for a guided tasting
    • Enjoy a picnic lunch and wine tasting at a boutique winery
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    El Paseo Wine & Photo Tour

    Do you enjoy wine so much that you often find yourself Instagramming your filled glass? Do you take capturing your indulgent moments very seriously? Bring some friends and walk along the historic Presidio neighborhood, where you'll sample some of the finest wines produced in the local Santa Ynez valley. You won't just drink wine -- you'll actually learn to taste wine and get a good sense of how to differentiate between types. You can't do all that consuming on an empty stomach, though! You will also be sampling some German-style brats and international cheeses that perfectly complement your drinks. You won't leave empty handed either! Throughout your tour, you will be taught useful tips on how to take better pictures, so bring along your iPhone or prized DSLR camera. Bring some friends for a day you'll never forget! Well, maybe you will with enough wine. Cheers!
    El Paseo Wine & Photo Tour

    225 State Street, Santa Barbara

    • Take a 3-hour walking tour around Santa Barbara to taste some the best wines of the Santa Ynez valley
    • Sample some German-style brats and international cheeses to enjoy with your wine
    • Enjoy memorable boozy times with great friends
    • Step up your Instagram game and snap some photos
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