Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An unexpected trip

My Hubby is the most wonderful Hubby in the world....know why? He put the playoffs on record and took us up to Los Olivos and Ballard this last weekend!
Yup, He is fantastic!
We stayed at the Ballard Inn, which was really, really wonderful! It was a B&B style and like staying in a relative's home....the staff are amazing, and the food in their restaurant....world class!
For those who may not be aware of it, Ballard and Los Olivos are in the Santa Ynez Valley, just north of Santa Barabara. Solvang is also in that area, though we didn't spend time there.
We stayed in the Gaviota Room for two of the nights, quite lovely and comfortable.

Now, just to let you know, there are no TVs in the room....frankly, to me that is the best part. No hum, no distraction from the box...just reading, conversation and meeting new people downstairs....
People come from all over the world to the Santa Ynez Valley to sample some of California's best wines....and they stay here. The Ballard Inn is a 4 Diamond resort complete with Concierge service.
We got one of those packages that included a wine tour....through Stagecoach Wine Tours. That was amazing!
Now, Hubby and I often go with friends, one being designated driver or we go ourselves and only one gets to really enjoy the wine....
This tour was really fun and great. They take only three couples....and take you to wineries that you probably wouldn't know or go to.....
We went to four wineries on the tour, we joined two clubs....yup, we did....fantastic wines...
The day before the tour, we went to see our friends at Zaca Mesa Winery....and besides tasting, we took a picnic and enjoyed the surroundings.
I took fun pictures of the barn area....love that place...


Some of the wineries have included picnic areas so you can sip and munch your lunch at leisure. None of them sell food however, so be sure to take your own picnic and be prepared to stay a while.....
I think the highlight of our tour is a winery you can't just go to. You have to be with Stagecoach....It was the Bella Cavalli winery.
This winery is on land that used to belong to Monty Roberts, known as the "Horse Whisperer"....remember him?? Well, this wonderful couple bought it and he built a magnificent barn and horse area and home for his wife, and then set about creating a winery!
His wines are unique, which you need in an area that has 130 different wineries. His take on wines is different, preferring to use let pressure on the grapes and getting a softer flavor from his grapes. He has a few whites that are truly outstanding and his tasting area is wonderful as you sit and enjoy the scenery and the horses...many retired racehorses....


Meet Jerry, a 28 year old Clydesdale that has come to retire here at Bella Cavalli.....he has a great retirement ahead....
So, all said and done and we have come home.....
I just wanted to share a taste of the area....there is so much to see and taste in the valley....if you haven't gone, you should...
I know we will be back......
What did you do over the weekend??
Nancy

1 comment:

Barbara Lilian said...

What a lovely way to spend a weekend All the things I love, beautiful countryside, pic-nic and tasting new wines. I live in France and take our visitors to the vineyard at Bergerac & Bordeaux, there you visit the cave where their vintage wines are stored. I like Californian wines, especially the crisp tasting white ones. I hope you bought some to drink at home with your friends.