Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California Part 2

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 22, 2013

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Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California Part 2

This is part 2 of a series. Here is part 1: Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California.

I recently took time out for another wonderful girl’s getaway in Southern California Wine Country with Emily Bartlett of Holistic Squid.

Just a couple days away. Long enough to chill out and forget about work for a little while. And drink a bunch of organic wine. It’s research, of course.

Okay, we talked about work the whole time, but you know, talking about work is fun.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California Part 2

The first night, usually on a Saturday because Em works on Saturdays at the clinic, we always stay in Los Alamos. That way we can get right of the highway, check in at the Skyview Motel, and drive directly to Full of Life Flatbread Pizza. There is no pizza and possibly no restaurant better than Full of Life anywhere in Santa Ynez, so don’t even think of going anywhere else. It’s absolutely worth the drive. (In fact, on this trip, we went back and ate there a second time!)

The Skyview is not fancy but it’s super cheap and only a 5-minute drive from Full of Life Flatbread.

Step One: Fill up with fresh organic salad, pizza, wine and dessert.
Step Two: Drive up the hill.
Step Three: Straight to bed! (OK, that’s after we do an hour of very serious girl talk in our twin beds.)

Breakfast in Los Alamos

In them morning we usually eat at Bell Street Farm before a day of wine tasting. This particular morning it was closed (we were up early!) so we headed to Cafe Quackenbush which is also very charming.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Breakfast was not quite as good as Bell St. (because they are the BEST) but still really, really good.

What better way to start the day than some lox and fresh, local goat cheese and coffee with fresh, raw milk? Emily always brings raw milk for the coffee because that’s how awesome she is. (Awesome or obsessive? I say awesome.)

Visiting the Ostrich Farm

After breakfast, we headed to Solvang to check into our hotel, The Hamlet Inn. Again, nothing fancy, but perfect for our purposes. Inexpensive, Danish modern, and super cozy. Love the very hot showers!

If you’re in or around Solvang, it’s a lot of fun to go for a visit to the ostrich farm, Ostrichland USA. It was seriously the best laugh I’ve had all year.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2 -- Emily feeding ostriches 1

Ostriches look really cute in children’s books, but in real life, they are super creepy and a little scary.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Okay, let’s be honest, they are a lot scary.

They’re birds, but they look prehistoric, like dinosaur creatures. Like a dinosaur meets a camel meets a reptile — with wings and feathers.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2 -- We Like to Bite

Yes, they really do bite.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Emily was brave and fed them.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2 -- Emily Feeding an Ostrich

But only for a minute.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2 -- Emily feeding ostriches 2

When you try to feed them, they all start going ballistic and pecking like crazy, their long necks bobbing up and down.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

We ended up throwing the pellets on the ground and got the hell out of there.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

On to the Wine Tasting

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Next we headed to our first tasting room at Alma Rosa, an organic winery owned by the Sanford family.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Thumbs up on this one — definitely worth a stop!

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

It’s picturesque. And the wine is outstanding.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2 -- Emily portrait

After the first tasting, Emily is now sufficiently relaxed. And it’s not even lunchtime yet.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

Stopping to do a little photography.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

That’s pretty much all we do on these trips: drink wine, take pictures, eat, and girl talk.

Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California part 2

I stopped taking pictures after that because (1) I wanted to relax and (2) We went back to visit the wineries we had been to before. If you want to read about them, please read this post: Organic Wine Country Weekend in Southern California.

Organic Wineries to Visit in Santa Ynez

Here’s the list of the organic wineries we visited. I highly recommend all of the following wineries if you go to Santa Ynez:

Alma Rosa
Ampelos
Stolpman
Coquelicot
Beckman
Carhartt
Dragonette

You can sign up as a wine club member for any of these wineries and they will ship directly to you (depending on which state you are in).

Want to Take a Trip Like This?

I’m SERIOUSLY considering launching a series of trips like this. Would you be interested in joining me and some of your favorite food bloggers on culinary trips to wine country (or even abroad)? Please comment below if you are interested. I’ll put you on a list to be contacted.

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