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Santa Barbara Wine Tours During Harvest

Santa Barbara Wine Tours During Harvest

Harvest 2019 is well under way here in Santa Barbara County. Let us pick you up in Santa Barbara or the Santa Ynez Valley and give you a unique authentic wine country experience. Join us for an unforgettable day of tasting amazing wines in  unique beautiful intimate settings.

This is our busy season for wine tours as people from all around the World visit to see wines being made. Most of the year the wineries are quiet as wine is aging in barrel, not right now. All the action in wine making happens as the fruit matures and is brought into the winery for processing. In just a few short weeks grapes are crushed, fermented, and are put to rest in oak, cement, or stainless steel to be readied for aging and eventually bottling. Many wineries bottle last year’s vintage at this time to make room in the cellar for the new vintage. Many of our guests are getting to see the fruit as it is destemmed, crushed and fermented.

2019 Crop Report: We had good rainfall in the Winter which led to great bud break and foliage, a cool Spring and Summer have lent to a long growing season called a “winemaker’s vintage” meaning the winemakers can make stylistic decisions rather than being dictated by weather and timing. Mid to late August saw the first white grapes and pinot noir being harvested. Then slowly and surely all the other varietals are rippening in good fashion. Many varietals have 4 weeks or more before they can be harvested. We could see harvest continuing all the way through mid-November like last year. This is good because all the fruit isn’t being rushed in for processing. Slow and steady wins the race for high quality wines.

All of this makes it a great time of year to visit Santa Barbara Wine Country, so, join us for a wine tour! Our professional tour hosts can pick you up from Santa Barbara, relax for a drive up the beautiful Gaviota Coast. Alternatively, we might take you up over the Santa Ynez Mountains with breath taking views of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. Check out Visit Santa Barbara for other things to see and do while in SB. Or, if you prefer to stay in the Santa Ynez Valley we can pick you up from the many hotels in the area. Check out Visit SYV for more info on places to say and things to do. Reserve your wine tasting tour with us today!

 

 

Santa Barbara Wine Tours, Springtime Wine Tasting

Santa Barbara Wine Tours, Springtime Wine Tasting

A perfect time for a Santa Barbara wine tour, Springtime is a time of renewal and growth, and it is beautiful to behold. Here in Santa Barbara Wine Country, Spring brings about the cyclical emergence of growth and vitality. Firstly, planted cover crops flourish between the rows of vines. Later, they are mowed and tilled under the soil to fix nitrogen to be used by the vines as fertilizer. Then, about mid-March, we witnessed the first signs of growth on the vines, know as “bud break”. This signifies the beginning of the new vintage and it is an exciting time to see the vigor of the new growth. The hills and valleys are a stunning green, as green as I have ever seen them. The sheer amount of rain this Winter has set us up with spectacular flower blooms and vibrant greens on all living things. Soon, the green will give way to golden brown and the wildflowers will subside. The vineyards will grow to be a vibrant green in stark contrast to the golden hues of the hillsides.

At about this time tourism picks up and wine tours start filling up. Wineries start hosting pick up parties and other events. Many new releases of past vintages are added to the line up for tasting. As wineries sell out of their current offerings, many aging past vintage reds are bottled and released.  Whites and rosés that were picked in the fall are also bottled and released.

All of this makes it a great time of year to visit Santa Barbara Wine Country, and join us for a wine tour! Our professional tour hosts can pick you up from Santa Barbara, relax for a drive up the beautiful Gaviota Coast. Alternatively, we might take you up over the Santa Ynez Mountains with breath taking views of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. Check out Visit Santa Barbara for other things to see and do while in SB. Or, if you prefer to stay in the Santa Ynez Valley we can pick you up from the many hotels in the area. Check out Visit SYV for more info on places to say and things to do. Reserve your wine tasting tour with us today!

 

 

We are proud to unveil Santa Barbara Artisan Food Co

We are proud to unveil Santa Barbara Artisan Food Co

Here at Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours, not only do we encourage you to love what you drink – we also believe that you should love what you eat! We are proud to unveil Santa Barbara Artisan Food Co., our very own subsidiary company that carries premium Olive Oils and Vinegars with a uniquely “Santa Barbara” spin!

We are as passionate about food as we are about wine, and beautiful Santa Barbara County Wine Country is a hub for connoisseurs of both. We created Santa Barbara Artisan Food Co. with the mission to offer delicious fine food products that enhance and compliment everyday meals. We carefully source our products from Artisan food suppliers located throughout the world, which are made with the highest quality ingredients. Our brand represents the integrity you should expect from your food suppliers. With offerings that include White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy, and Honey Vinegar with Serrano Chile, you can create the perfect wine and food pairings in your own kitchen!

What’s best, if you book one of our top-rated Santa Barbara County Wine Tours, we can make sure you sample our delicious products at one of the wineries on your tour! Just mention Santa Barbara Artisan Food Co. when you reserve.

Welcome our newest Tour Host to the Stagecoach Team!

Welcome our newest Tour Host to the Stagecoach Team!

We are thrilled to Welcome Ozzie to our team. Building on our reputation as having the best tour hosts in Santa Barbara County!

Eric (Ozzie) Osmonson

Eric has been in the hospitality industry for most of his life. He holds a level 1 Sommelier Certificate from the International Sommelier Guild. He has been passionate about wine since his early 20s when he had the pleasure of sharing a bottle of 1987 Caymus Special Select with his Food & Beverage Director. That was his Wine wake-up call. Eric has a few serious passions in his life; First, his wife and two sons, Motorcycles, Kings Hockey, Wine (Obviously), Minnesota Vikings, Dodgers and Twins Baseball! He loves sharing his passion with everyone who will listen, making people laugh and enjoying themselves. He has been the Wine Buyer at the oldest family owned and operated store in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley for over six years now and loves getting to work in the mornings!

Why we feel it is important to hire a professional tour company.

Wine Tour Gift Certificates, the gift of a new experience!

Wine Tour Gift Certificates, the gift of a new experience!

Wine Tour Gift Certificates make great presents. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your gift-giving strategies. Don’t rush to find something that your recipient probably doesn’t need. This year, why not give the gift of a new experience?

Our gift certificates are the perfect gift for friends, family, and co-workers! There is no better way to show someone you appreciate them, than to treat them to a day spent in our beautiful Santa Barbara County Wine Country. Gift Certificates for our all-inclusive Wine Tours include luxury transportation from almost anywhere in Santa Barbara County. Whether, they are staying in Summerland, Montecito, Santa Barbara, Goleta, or anywhere in the Santa Ynez Valley we will pick them up for a great day of wine tasting. All tasting fees at three or four premium local wineries; a delicious picnic lunch provided by our local organic marketplace; an expert Tour Host with extensive knowledge of the geography, history and wines or our region, and plenty of bottled water!

Gift Certificates can be for our Wine Lover’s Group Tour, our Private Wine Tours, or purchased in any denomination that can be applied to a future tour. They don’t expire, the recipient/guest has the freedom to schedule their tour for any time they like. Plus, we offer volume discounts for offices, co-workers and larger groups. It couldn’t be easier!

Take the headache out of Holiday gift giving – treat the wine lovers in your life to a wine tour gift certificate for an amazing day with us in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country!

With over 18 year experience we are the best choice! We will make planning there trip with a gift certificate a breeze!

We have sold thousands of wine tour gift certificates over the years an we are the number 1 attraction in the Santa Ynez Valley with over 250 five star TripAdvisor reviews. We maintain a five-star rating on Yelp!

Our wine tour van parked at a beautiful venue.
Holiday Transportation provided by Stagecoach Co.

Holiday Transportation provided by Stagecoach Co.

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to think about your transportation needs.

As you most likely know, Stagecoach Co. isn’t just the best Wine Tour Company in the Santa Ynez Valley. We also offer By-the-Hour and Full-Day shuttle services for company gatherings, holiday parties, and on- and off-site events.

Please see the link below to view our fleet of Mercedes Sprinters and 24-passenger executive Mini Coach:
https://winetourssantaynez.com/wine-tour-vehicles/

Feel free to give us a call or email to discuss your potential needs and options. We are here Monday – Friday from 9:00am to 5:30pm, and Saturday from 9:00am – 12:30pm.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support! We value our ongoing relationship.

Pinot Noir Harvest in Santa Barbara County

Pinot Noir Harvest in Santa Barbara County

This week in Santa Barbara Wine Country saw the beginning of Pinot Noir Harvest.

Usually, black grapes are harvested much later in the year, with the exception of pinot noir. The reason is due to the thin skin of the pinot noir grapes. These cool climate berries grow successfully in the western most area of Santa Barbara known as the Santa Rita Hills.

All pinot noir producers and growers will tell you they are the most difficult and demanding of grapes to grow.

For example, pinot noir doesn’t like it too hot, as the skin can peel and crack, just like ours when we have too much sun. They don’t like it too cold otherwise, they won’t ripen, also they don’t like it too wet because they are susceptible to mold and mildew.

Due to this finicky behavior, pinot noirs need to be monitored and maintained to a higher degree than any other grape, and this causes their price to be at a premium.

Harvesting Pinot Noir also requires greater attention to detail: smaller picking bins so that the clusters don’t get squashed before arriving at the wineries for processing. Unlike the white grapes like chardonnay that are also being harvested at the same time, pinot noir will spend at least 12 to 18 months in barrels before they are ready to drink.

Wine Tour verses Hiring a Driver – The Beauty of a Wine Tour

Wine Tour verses Hiring a Driver – The Beauty of a Wine Tour

Thinking about visiting a few wineries and vineyards in Santa Barbara Wine Country?  Before you call Uber, Lyft or one of the literally dozens of taxi services, there are a few things you should know…

Taxis and driving services can be logical option – if you’re up for doing all the planning yourself, or flying by the seat of your pants.  Perhaps you know exactly which wineries you want to visit? You have a clear understanding of the geography/distances of wineries in Santa Barbara County Wine Country? You’re happy to make your winery reservations, pay additional tasting fees, and coordinate your own lunch? Then, simply hiring a driver is definitely adequate. They will get you from Point A to Point B – you just have to take care of everything else in between. This is definitely not as easy as it seems in most cases!

But, what if you want an entire day curated for you, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy?  This is where professional Wine Tour companies come in – like us, Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours.  We specialize in taking care of every detail for you.  We have relationships with dozens of super-local premium wineries, and organize an amazing tour based on our expertise. Our Tour Hosts are passionate about wine, and offer extensive knowledge of the geography, history and wines of our region. We have access to vineyards and wineries that are off-the-beaten-path – some of which, most taxi drivers would never know exist.

What’s more, there are no hidden costs or additional fees with our Wine Tours. Each one includes transportation in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter; all tasting fees at each winery; a delicious picnic lunch provided by our local organic Marketplace; plenty of bottled water, and even a basic gratuity for our expert Tour Hosts. Many of our guests find that it is actually more economical to join us for a Wine Tour instead of hiring just a driver, because we build everything into the cost – so that you don’t have to worry about anything!

 

Book a tour with us and let us guide you through an amazing and educational Santa Barbara County Wine Country experience!   “We are much more than just Drivers!”

Santa Barbara County Wine Harvest 2018

Santa Barbara County Wine Harvest 2018

This week saw the beginning of the 2018 harvest here in the Santa Ynez Valley. Normally the white grapes come in earlier than the later ripening red grapes, but some sparkling wine producers have also started to harvest some pinot noir black grapes for their low sugar and crisp acidity. Likewise some have begun to harvest black grapes for their rose wines. On the whole however, these coming weeks will be mostly white grape harvesting. This is the best time of year from now through to mid-October to visit us in the Santa Ynez Valley to get a glimpse how wine is made. Due to the coastal morning fog and the daytime high temperatures, most winemakers prefer to harvest their grapes either at night or very early in the morning. This cooler time of day helps to keep the fruit fresh and cold. After picking, the grapes are taken to the winery where they will be pressed to squeeze the juice out of the skins and then the fermentation process will begin for the clean crisp white wines like riesling, pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.

Join Stagecoach Wine Tours and experience this exciting time of the year in the vineyards!

The Magic of Midweek in Santa Barbara Wine Country

The Magic of Midweek in Santa Barbara Wine Country

Stagecoach Midweek Wine Tours

When most people think about planning a Santa Barbara Wine Country getaway, they think of planning their wine tours for long weekends or holidays. But the experienced traveler will recognize that often, the very best wine tour experience in Santa Barbara County can be found Midweek – particularly in the summer months. Wine Lovers from around the world flock to Santa Barbara Wine Country during this peak season, making for busy weekends here in the Santa Ynez Valley.

If you seek an even more relaxed wine country experience, joining us for a wine tour Monday through Friday has many benefits:

  • Like most hotels in Santa Barbara County, we offer a Midweek Special rate for all of our Wine Lovers tours. We are also offering a Summer Special you won’t want to miss!
  • The wineries here in the Santa Ynez Valley are less busy Monday through Friday. This allows for each winery’s  staff to give our wine tour clients an even more personalized experience.
  • Santa Barbara Wine Country is an exceptionally beautiful place – especially when there is no traffic! Fewer tourists during the week creates a more leisurely, unhurried atmosphere for all of our guests.
  • All of this means more time among the vines, enjoying all that Santa Barbara Wine Country has to offer!

If your schedule allows, we highly recommend a Midweek Wine Tour this summer. Feel free to give us a call or check our availability online, anytime. We look forward to seeing you soon!