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Best 5 wineries in Santa Barbara for a perfect picnic

Nov 29, 2020 at 11:31 PM

After dealing with stay at home orders for what seems to be an eternity, most southern California residents are tired of being indoors. Many are taking advantage of the fact that Santa Barbara Wine Country is only 1 to 2 hour car ride from home. There is no better way to enjoy the outdoors and wine country scenery, than having a picnic at winery. Here is a list of out Top 5 Santa Barbara wineries to enjoy a picnic. Most wineries have suspended their vineyard tours, but you can still take a Santa Barbara wine tour during Covid. Don’t forget your mask, and practice social distancing as much as possible.

If you are looking for a place to pick up some cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches and other goodies, stop by the Santa Barbara Cheese Shop. This small Cheese shop, owned and operated by husband and wife Michaela & Katherine, has the most extensive inventory of cheeses in all of Santa Barbara. They have cheese from all over the world, as well as other artisanal goodies.


Santa Barbara wine with picnic cheese platter
Santa Barbara Wine & cheese
  1. Fess Parker Winery

A long time favorite of locals and visitors alike is Fess Parker. Yep, Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket have a winery, full with coon caps and everything. They have a great selection of both Burgundy and Rhone varietals, to go along with your picnic. The have a very large grass area always very well maintained with plenty of picnic tables for visitors to use. The winery is a beautiful building surrounded by vineyards, roses and outside tables with firepits. You are welcome to bring a picnic any day, except on Saturdays, when they have a food truck onsite providing tasty meals. Fess Parker is a very popular stop for many Santa Barbara Wine Tour companies, so be sure to make a reservation, before going there.

    2.  Lafond Winery

Santa Barbara’s firs commercial winery since prohibition is a great place to visit, slow down and smell the roses. Located on the famous Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara wine country (where Santa Barbara Pinot Noir comes from), Lafond winery makes some beautiful Pinot Noirs that pair nicely with light meals. Pinot Noir, chardonnay, and Syrah are some varietals that are a staple of Lafond’s wine flight. Buy a bottle of 2, grab a table outside, and enjoy the flowers and the beautiful scenery here. It can get a bit windy from time to time, but there are plenty of areas on the property to enjoy. Lafond is abit out of the way for most people’s Wine Tour itinerary, so it tends to be much more quiet and peaceful that some other wineries.

     3.  Brick Barn Winery

Located on the outskirts of Buellton, Brick Barn is a newer winery, with world class wines. They have lots of space to enjoy wine tasting, and many tables to be able to accommodate large groups. Since Covid reopening, they have been able to accommodate groups of up to 10 people. Brick Barn and wine maker Rob Dafoe and doing some great things and providing a great experience that is best suited for larger groups. Brick Barn is a popular winery stop for people during a Santa Barbara Wine Tour, so it may feel a bit crowded on the weekends.

Group of girls sitting at a picnic table with a winemaker during a Santa Barbara Wine Tour
Vineyard Wine Tasting with the winemaker

     4. Feliz Noche Cellars

Feliz Noche Cellars has been one of our favorite wineries for a long time. Owned by long time vineyard manager – turned wine maker Felipe Hernandez, Feliz Noche pours a wide array of varietals. Having access to many vineyards (some of which he manages) Felipe, makes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, an amazing Sangiovese, some very fruit forward blends, and even a Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the red wines at Feliz Noche Cellars get plenty of time to be ready, and Felipe does not rush them. Unlike other producers, Felipe does not release his wines until they are ready to drink. No need to age them, take them home and they are good to go. The tasting at the vineyard (open to club members & Golden Rooster guests) are done under some old majestic oak trees surrounded by the vineyard and plenty of picnic tables. The tasting at the vineyard are usually private, which means you need to either be a cub member to access this area, or have us take you there.

     5. Dovecote Winery

Dovecote winery is part of Santa Barbara’s newest established Alisos Canyon AVA. Although the Alisos Canyon AVA was recently recognized federally as having its own different characteristics compared to the rest of Santa Barbara, the Thompson Vineyard is amongst the oldest vineyards in Santa Barbara county. The Thompson vineyard is where Dovecote winery is located. Being the newest winery in the area means not manty people know about it, and therefore the winery is a hidden gem. A simple, yet well designed open air tasting room, surrounded by perfectly manicured grass, polo ponies, and  overlooking a pond populated with largemouth bass weighing up to 15 pounds makes this winery a joy to visit. Visitor are more than welcome to walk the expansive grounds and with a little luck, may be driven around the property in an off-road vehicle. There is  a second pond on the property that is populated with trout. People who love fishing are able to set up a fishing excursion to go along with their wine tasting. The fishing excursion is catch and release.


Golden Limo Santa Barbara


(805) 364-3118