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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    Santa Barbara Wine Country Ballooning and Wine Tasting

    Getting high on life in Santa Ynez isn’t always about popping open a bottle of vino… sometimes it's about soaring hundreds of feet in the air! During this exhilarating experience, you'll do just that as you take to the morning sky in a hot air balloon. Spend nearly an hour flying over the sprawling vineyards and the more than 100 wineries located in the valley. Sights also include the Transverse Mountain Ranges, the Channel Islands, Lake Cachuma, and several historic towns. Santa Ynez Valley is a lovely place to enjoy a hot air balloon ride, with light winds and nearly perfect climate for the ballooning year round. You'll enjoy a flowing, turbulence-free experience that even those traditionally afraid of flying will find soothing and easy to handle. Plus, you'll be flying with a company that puts safety and fun hand in hand. Afterwards, you'll have the chance to toast to your experience while visiting two different boutique wineries. Visits include transportation and tasting fees, so all you have to worry about bringing is your tastebuds! Your guide will also work with you to select wineries that suit your palate, selecting from a variety of popular destinations in the valley. Cheers!
    Santa Barbara Wine Country Ballooning and Wine Tasting

    2432 Railway Ave, Los Olivos

    • Embark on a thrilling morning balloon ride over Santa Ynez Valley
    • Check out the sprawling vineyards and dozens of wineries of below
    • Relax during an easy-going float perfect for snapping photos or just taking in the view
    • Celebrate your morning by visiting two boutique wineries for guided tastings
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    A Day with a Sommelier Private Tour (Weekends)

    Sophisticated senses? Sniff and sip your way through the Santa Ynez scene with a certified sommelier! Spend a full-day getting to know wine country with your guide, including tastings at four top wineries. As a private tour, you can build out the itinerary around your preferences. You'll also check out a vineyard or production tour, take scenic ATV ride, and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch! Your guide will help fill in the gaps with local history and wine insights. Bring your friends and family, and plan an intimate outing that you'll be toasting a long time afterwards! Cheers!
    A Day with a Sommelier Private Tour (Weekends)

    Camarillo, Camarillo

    • Explore the Santa Ynez wine country with a professional sommelier
    • Customize the experience with winery tours and ATV rides available
    • Enjoy tastings at 4 different wineries, and a gourmet picnic lunch
    • Plan a relaxing and hassle-free outing
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    Paint Me, Wine Event

    Are you looking for a fun, out of the box experience? Paint Me Wine was created with the purpose of unlocking the inner artist in you. No experience is necessary and everything (including wine) is provided. Follow an amazing local artist on an entertaining step by step, stroke by stroke journey as you create your own personal masterpiece. Feel proud as you laugh, learn and sip your way to a new artistic accomplishment that you can take home with you at the end of the night. A more creative you is just waiting to be awakened. Invite your friends and take part in the next Paint Me Wine Event!
    Paint Me, Wine Event

    801 E 4th Pl, Los Angeles

    • Find your inner painter as you are guided step by step by a local artist
    • Take home your own personal masterpiece
    • Complimentary wine is included
    • All materials are provided
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    South Bay Brewery Tour

    The Beach Cities of Los Angeles are famous for its surf, sand and sun... but what's truly hot around the beachside of LA? The Beer. Come visit 3 of the best local craft breweries in the Torrance, Redondo Beach and El Segundo area with this all-inclusive brewery tour where you'll learn (and forget) as much as you like about what makes beer taste so good and why you should drink it every day of your life. A flight of beer is included at each location, so you'll have to problem trying many varieties, the only problem you'll have is choosing your favorite.
    South Bay Brewery Tour

    2226 E El Segundo Blvd, El Segundo

    • Visit 3 breweries in the South Bay of Los Angeles
    • Sample beer from breweries such as Smog City, Monkish and Strand Brewing
    • Hang out with like-minded beer enthusiasts.
    • See the inside of a fully operating craft brewery
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    Paso Robles Half Day Bike Ride (4-9 people)

    Quiet country roads, vineyards, and bicycles. Designed for a party of four to nine riders, this half-day ride is the perfect way to drink in the Paso Robles wine country. You'll begin your journey east of Paso Robles as you bike along the scenic Salinas River and take in the region's sprawling ranches and vineyards. While not the tourist hotspots that Napa and Sonoma are, the boutique wineries of Paso Robles produce award-winning wines. The quiet country roads and wine tastings make this private getaway the perfect way to spend a half day. You'll have the opportunity to enjoy tastings at J. Lohr and Le Vigne wineries, or spend more time biking. Need a little more convincing? This ride concludes with a delicious picnic lunch and complimentary tasting at San Antonio Winery Paso Robles!
    Paso Robles Half Day Bike Ride (4-9 people)

    10 State Park Rd, Morro Bay

    • Treat yourself to a half-day private cycling tour for 4-9 riders
    • Explore the scenic wine region and quiet country roads of Paso Robles
    • Enjoy a picnic lunch and tasting at San Antonio Winery Paso Robles
    • Immerse yourself in a scenic landscape during a fun, physical adventure
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    Tasty Cupcake & Wine Tour - Non-drinker

    For those looking for a sweet wine country tour, this one really takes the cake. During this full day of fun, you'll be travel from Santa Barbara into wine country by van, where you'll visit several of Santa Ynez’s top wineries based in either Solvang or Los Olivos. While there, you'll have the opportunity to partake in a delicious, wine-infused cupcake tasting, with such flavors as Pomegranate Mango Chardonnay or Chocolate Blackberry Syrah on the menu. You'll also enjoy a scenic picnic lunch at one of the wineries you visit, and have the opportunity to tour the facilities, and meet the staff! Did we mention there's cupcakes?
    Tasty Cupcake & Wine Tour - Non-drinker

    32 E Haley St, Santa Barbara

    • Tour the beautiful Santa Barbara wine country by van during a guided tour
    • Visit several wineries for an inside look at their operations and techniques
    • Enjoy delicious wine-infused cupcakes and a picnic lunch
    • Treat yourself to a relaxing adventure while learning about the area’s wine culture and history
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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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    Shore Excursion: 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.
    Shore Excursion: 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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