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On our way up the coast to Santa Barbara, CA, my friends and I decided to pull into the small, seaside town of Summerland (population 1,448). We visited a cafe and enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches, looked around a cool antique shop, and made our way into a boutique winery.

Summerland Winery was founded in 2002 “with the goal of producing premium wines from expressive vineyard sources spanning from Santa Barbara to Monterey.” I loved the ambience — it was small with a nice communal table and a “bar” with about 10 seats. Wine bottles and other products served as the decor, and I particularly liked the candles, which were made from old wine bottles. The outdoor balcony was a great place to taste wines and wind down on a beautiful day.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t find the staff particularly knowledgeable, as no one really ever explained the wines to us, but they were definitely friendly. The cheese plate also left much to be desired, but I concentrated more on the wine. My two favorites were 2009 Summerland Pinot Noir, Solomon Hills Vineyard and 2010 Summerland Viognier, Late Harvest, Paradise Road Vineyard. I recommend this quaint town and charming winery to anyone who is in the area and looking for a nice, relaxing afternoon. It’s strong, regional character at its best.

Summerland Winery
2330 Lillie Ave
Summerland, CA 93067
(805) 565-9463

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