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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    Malibu Wine Tour

    Take a drive from the Santa Monica Pier to the beautiful Malibu Wine Country. Enjoy a guided tour of Malibu's prestigious and highly regarded wineries, the Rosenthal Winery and Malibu Wines. This tour was specifically designed for an intimate small group experience that includes exceptionally fine wine tasting packed in with unforgettable views. This tour is perfect for couples looking to take a romantic getaway, wine enthusiasts, and anyone looking to have a great time under the sun while enjoying the finest wines the region has to offer. Sit back, relax, and let the award-winning tour guides show you the hidden treasures of Malibu's most sought after gems.
    Malibu Wine Tour

    350 Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

    • Enjoy pickup from a centrally located meeting point
    • Guaranteed small group size ensures personal service
    • Experience fine wine tasting packed in with stunning views
    • Romantic experience, perfect for couples
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    Basic Beer-Making Class

    Tired of having to pay insane prices for beers at the bar? Got a penchant for big vats of brews? Come learn the inner workings of beer making in a group class and gain the necessary insight on how to make your own beer at home. In this class, you’ll uncover how to mix ingredients to brew bright, citrusy IPAs, malty ales, and dark, chocolate-y stouts and porters. Not only will you have a practical understanding of how to brew, but you’ll also understand the science behind how different styles are created. Your favorite drink is always on tap when you’re the one making it.
    Basic Beer-Making Class

    4352 Eileen St, Simi Valley

    • Learn the inner workings of making delicious beers
    • Discover how to create everything from IPAs to stouts
    • Practice mixing ingredients to create your favorite brew
    • Start your journey towards becoming a beer connoisseur
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    Day In Santa Barbara Wine Country

    Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city, on this tour that is perfect for couples or friends alike. Get ready for a beautiful day in the Santa Barbara Wine country! Be introduced to some fantastic wines that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate. In this semi-private social excursion, you are guided through California’s most diverse wine region. Includes all wine tastings, lunch and limousine transporations to and from your hotel in this all inclusive tour.
    Day In Santa Barbara Wine Country

    Santa Ynez Valley Hotels, Santa Barbara

    • See Santa Barbara Wine country as you never thought possible.
    • Receive a personalized wine experience that you will never forget
    • Take advantage of this small group tour with an informative, friendly and professional guide
    • Enjoy the spectacular views as you discover wonderful wines.
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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 Ynez Wineries Group Tour

    Feeling a bit bottled up? Pour on the fun with an intoxicating winery tour of popular Santa Ynez! The county around Santa Ynez provides a range of microclimates and soils, allowing over 50 different varieties of grapes to be grown, and thus numerous styles of high quality wines to be made. As you tour the area, your guide will fill you in on the history of this thriving wine country as you travel, offering unique insights to add a layer of delicious complexity to your experience. You’ll visit four of the local wineries over the course of this day-long experience, plus enjoy both a vineyard and production tour to expand your knowledge of winemaking. Of course, at each stop there will be plenty of tasting, allowing you to see what makes these wineries so special. Plus, you’ll fuel the fun with a gourmet picnic lunch! We detect notes of fun, fun, and more fun! Learning about wine has never been so fine!
    Santa Ynez Wineries Group Tour

    Camarillo, Camarillo

    • Explore the wineries of Santa Ynez during a guided group tour
    • Visit 4 different wineries for tastings, and enjoy a picnic lunch
    • Take behind the scenes tours of both vineyards and production facilities
    • Expand your knowledge of wine during an engaging and intimate adventure
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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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    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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    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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    Wine Country Bike Tour - Non-drinker

    Wining and dining … and cycling! This adventure has it all for the active sophisticate! After van transportation to either Foxen Canyon Trail or Santa Rita Hills, you’ll embark on a scintillating cycling tour that will take you through scenic country vistas en route to two local wineries. At your first stop, you’ll enjoy a tour of the grounds and a delicious picnic lunch. Fueled up and ready to go, you’ll hop back on your bike to continue your journey to your next destination, where more scenic grounds and winery knowledge awaits! During your journey, your guide will offer historical insights into the area, and each each stop you’ll have a chance to meet with staff, and often enjoy access to special discounts. For the cyclist with a thirst for winery knowledge, this countryside escape does things just right!
    Wine Country Bike Tour - Non-drinker

    32 E Haley St, Santa Barbara

    • Explore 10-15 miles of the beautiful Santa Barbara Wine Country during a relaxed cycle
    • Tour the grounds of two wineries, meet the staff and learn about the wine making industry
    • Fuel up with a picnic lunch during your first winery stop
    • Enjoy a fun, physical adventure and insights into the wine culture and history of Santa Ynez Valley
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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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