Los Angeles Recap: Santa Ynez Wine Country and Los Olivos

I’m back today with a second recap of my brief stint in L.A. If you missed part one, make sure to check it out here!


Sunday, April 2nd

I woke up at a reasonable hour this morning and immediately made myself iced coffee while sitting on the sofa and watching the beautiful palm trees meet the sun for the first time that day.

That sounded gosh darn poetic. It was even more beautiful in person.

Sunrise in Los Feliz, L.A.

My view every morning

On the agenda for the day was Santa Ynez for a little trip to wine country, my first EVER experience at a California winery, and there wasn’t a soul better to go on this adventure with than Erin, my self-proclaimed wine guru.

The drive to Santa Ynez was hideous.

I’m just kidding. Driving ANYWHERE in Southern California, especially along the ocean, is just downright beautiful. I still dream about it.

Coastal driving in Southern California

I mean…

We had wine on the mind, but knew it’d be in our best interest to fill up our bellies with something sustainable first, so we landed at a spot called Cold Spring Tavern for tri-tip sandwiches.

Cold Spring Tavern


I had never had a tri-tip sandwich before, but for those who have never had it, it reminded me a lot of a brisket, but fattier and more melt-in-your-mouthy.

Y’all. It was incredible, and I ate every last bite. Also, the horseradish sauce on it was A++ 100% gold star for you none for Gretchen Weiners bye.

Tri-tip sandwich at Cold Spring Tavern

Now a proud member of the Wild Hogs and Tri-Tip Club

After quite literally gorging ourselves on meat, we headed to Rusack Vineyards where we  ordered a tasting and set up shop outside on the patio to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.

Rusack Vineyards, Santa Ynez Valley

Sauvignon blanc overlooking the vineyards + we got to keep our glass!

It was at Rusack where I had the best Pinot noir of my life, watched buffalo roam the hills (I didn’t even know there were buffalo in CA), and witnessed a man on horseback steering sheep with his dog. All while drinking wine. Can life get anymore perfect than that?


It can’t.

Rusack Winery, Santa Ynez Valley

Our reaction to a lady saying, “Just smile! Forget the wind! SO BEAUTIFUL, LADIES.”

After spending an hour or so here, and instead of going to another winery (too much wine + driving = illegal), Erin decided to show me around the small Danish town of Solvang, which is also located in the Santa Ynez Valley.


We strolled around a bit, I marveled at all of the cute shops, and then we peaced out soon to head to Los Olivos instead because Solvang oddly reminded us of the touristy downtown Gatlinburg. You know what I mean? The only thing missing, honestly, was moonshine and bearded men in overalls named Matthew (note: this isn’t a mischaracterization of Gatlinburg. While there on a family vacation years back, I did indeed meet a bearded man in overalls named Matthew. And also drank a lot of moonshine.).

Los Olivos was much more laid-back and quiet and has a population of like, 43. It was great. We walked around the town, caught a bit of live music in someone’s backyard, (which, in hindsight, I don’t think we were supposed to be there), and landed at this little cafe for another glass of wine and iced tea before making the drive back to L.A.


Adios, wine country! Until we meet again.


Question of the Day: 

Have you ever been to a winery? If so, where? 

What’s your favorite wine? For me, Pinot noir for red (although, I’ve been into rioja lately) and Sauvignon blanc for white!

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