The Eagle Inn selected three must see Santa Barbara wineries to review the finest ports coming out of the city and Santa Ynez Valley area.

As one of the highest quality hotels in Santa Barbara, The Eagle Inn, has been a luxurious boutique hotel for vacationers and business travelers for many years. The family-owned business offers the intimacy of a Bed & Breakfast combined with the amenities of a major hotel.

The Eagle Inn is also a short distance from many of Southern California’s most luxurious spots. This Santa Barbara Hotel is located just a few blocks from the beach, within driving distance  of the mountains, and near Southern California’s most beautiful orchards in the world.

At one time California wine was considered second-rate and inferior to its European counterpart. But after decades of technological advances and agricultural innovation, California wines frequently rank as the best in the world. Alongside Sonoma County, Santa Ynez is one of the main reasons for California’s winery boom.

One of the ways  The Eagle Inn strives to ensure guests have a pleasant experience is by reviewing popular local tourist resources each month.   Each month our staff features a local resource that may be of value to our guests.

For all our wine enthusiast guests, you’ll love our review of the following wineries: Santa Barbara Winery, Oreana Winery and Marketplace, and The Giessenger Winery.


Santa Barbara Winery

SANTA BARBARA WINERY – Established in 1962, Santa Barbara Winery releases several lines of vintage every year. This year they are rolling out their fourth vintage of Petite Sirah.  The grape has had a rather muddled history ever since it was first cultivated in California circa 1890 shortly after being either propagated or identified as a separate variety in France in the 1880′s. It is not Syrah, and there is nothing “petite” about it in terms of grape size or flavor. Many older Petite Sirah vineyards in California are actually “field blends” containing as many as five grape varieties (including Petite Sirah and Syrah).  DNA fingerprinting has also shown what we know as Petite Sirah could actually be the ancient Rhone variety Peloursin. Or, as the most popular theory goes, this grape is actually Durif, a cross of Peloursin and Syrah created in France in the 1880′s.   Whatever the reason, the name “Petite Sirah” has stuck and the wine became an early favorite in California as the rich, massive wines it produces were a natural favorite when paired with old rancho cuisine featuring grilled meats and vegetables.  Santa Barbara Winery sells large and small bottles, samples, as well as many wine accessories. Santa Barbara gift baskets feature an assortment of wines along with local gourmet items. Visit Santa Barbara Winery on Facebook.


Santa Barbara Winery
OREANA WINERY – Ten years ago Christian Garvin, came across a vacant tire shop and had an idea.  Now over a decade later that idea has blossomed into the Oreana Winery; a funky and eclectic winery right next to downtown Santa Barbara.  Originally called Cellar 205, Gavin changed the name to Oreana to signify the renegade spirit of the business. Oreana was a term from California’s “Cattle Driving” past and is used for unbranded cattle that become a rancher’s property because they’re on his land.  Located just 2 blocks from the beach, Oreana promotes itself as the alternative and libertine innovators in the Santa Barbara region. The off-beat winery offers over 10,000 cases but also has some brands of pinot grigio that are as small as 20 cases. Visit Oreana Winery on Facebook.

GIESSINGER WINERY – At Giessinger Winery, you will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy wine tasting and delicious food in one of the most lush regions in the world.  Giessinger Winery was selected for the 2012 Best of Santa Barbara Award in the Wines, Brandy & Brandy Spirits category by the Santa Barbara Award Program.  Their high quality, moderately priced wines bring the art of French wine making to the beautiful California countryside in Ventura County and Santa Barbara Coast. Additionally Giessinger has a wine tasting class in conjunction with University of California -Santa Barbara. The course on the health benefits of wines and the process of winemaking (growing/purchasing of grapes, choosing equipment, fermenting, aging and storing). You will learn how to make 5 gallons of wine. 

In the class, students will taste 3 types of Giessinger wines (white, red, and dessert) in every session. The last session involves food-wine pairing. People are encouraged to bring your favorite dish to share and pair with Giessinger wines. The class ends with a food-wine event at Giessinger Winery in Santa Barbara.  Giessinger Bistro offers a chance for people to enjoy their wine with a variety of appetizers, gourmet sandwiches, and sides. Visit Giessinger Winery on Facebook.

The true artisan practices in mastering the art of winemaking is evident in each and every one of the wineries reviewed.  We hope you enjoyed this review of the top 3 Santa Barbara wineries.  Be sure to stop by one of these first class wineries for a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting.  Tell them  The Eagle Inn sent you!

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