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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    Steak and Wine Dinner

    Search for a drool-inducing experience to suit your refined sense of taste? For the sophisticated foodie, passing up on this culinary workshop would be a huge missed steak! Work under the guidance of a professional chef as you master a number of delicious recipes that will be huge hits at your next dinner party, including a mouthwatering steak dish! On the menu: Grilled Flatbread with Artichokes and Goat Cheese; Steak with Caramelized Onions and Reduction Sauce; Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Root Vegetables; and Chocolate Mousse Napoleons! You'll work in a bright, creative kitchen environment alongside fellow foodies, making this a great way to not only learn, but meet some new friends as well. Wine is even served throughout the event to lighten the mood … Because, wine not?
    Steak and Wine Dinner

    12207 Seal Beach Blvd, Seal Beach

    • Master a variety of gourmet dishes built around a mouthwatering steak entree
    • Work under the guidance of a professional chef to prepare each dish
    • Make acquaintances with fellow foodies while working and eating together
    • Enjoy a delicious meal of your own making and wine throughout the night
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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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    Tasty Cupcake & Wine Tour

    For those looking for a sweet wine country tour, this one really takes the cake! This wine tour features a delicious sampling of wine infused cupcakes from Enjoy Cupcakes in the heart of Santa Ynez wine country. Some of their biggest hits include Pomegranate Mango Chardonnay and Chocolate Blackberry Syrah. After being picked up in a shuttle in the morning, you'll preview the day and head up to Santa Ynez Valley. Once there, you will enjoy wine tastings at some of the areas best wineries. You will visit beautiful Los Olivos and enjoy an incredible cupcake while your guides cover local human history and insight into the wine region. Lunch will be served in the shade at a favorite winery. Your guides will prepare an enjoyable deli lunch. Each winery has its unique vintages and award winning selections. Winery staff offer insight into specific blends and selections, and several wineries extend discounts on wine purchases to our guests. The first of its kind, this wine tour has been featured on NBC LA, NBC San Diego, All Things Cupcake and Evelyn Kanter’s Car & Travel. Did we mention there's cupcakes?
    Tasty Cupcake & Wine Tour

    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, techniques, and tastings
    • 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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