A few weeks ago I visited the Santa Ynez Valley with my dad. My dad delivers fertilizers to growers around the Santa Maria area, which includes vineyards. So when I proposed for us to visit a winery while we were visiting the Santa Ynez Valley, my dad knew where to take me.
We drove to the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail which is home to more than 15 wineries. The first stop from the South end is Firestone Vineyard. Firestone is also a popular stop for visitors. As soon as we drove up, the parking area looked as if there was a special event occurring. Inside the tasting room, there are souvenirs along the sides for purchase. A square shaped large bar is located in the center of the room where guest taste wines. An area is set up by a long window to take in the vineyard view.
During a tasting visit, you may choose from a white and red wines list for $10 or an all reds list with their higher end wines for $15.
$10 Featured Wines (bottle price $14-$25)
2009 Gewurztraminer, Santa Ynez Valley
2009 Chardonnay, Santa Ynez Valley
2010 Rose, Santa Ynez Valley
2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County
2007 Merlot, Santa Ynez Valley
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley
$15 Reserve Flight (bottle price $24-$60)
2008 Cabernet Franc, Santa Ynez Valley
2006 Merlot, Chairman Series
2007 Lineage, Chairman Series
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chairman Series
2007 Ambassador, Cabernet Sauvignon
I tasted the red and whites. The bottle I purchased was the Pinot Noir. The aromas were strong enough for anyone to pick up, including my dad who has trouble smelling. :) This was also his favorite.
"The 2009 Pinot Noir has an exotic nose that is smoky and spicy. Fresh strawberries, rhubarb, rose petals, cloves, and sundried tomatoes race across the palate. Hints of earth and mushroom create a velvety texture on the finish. Allow time to breathe for optimal drinking!"
I also enjoyed their Chardonnay with 90 points Wine & Spirits. It has aromas of apples, citrus, pineapple, butter, warm toast and vanilla.
It may get crowded in the tasting room but by joining the Firestone Cellar Club you receive exclusive access to the Wine Club Lounge and other excellent benefits. With membership, you and five guests receive complimentary tasting from Firestone and six other tasting rooms:
You will also receive the latest information about Firestone Vineyards and its wines, discounts on merchandise, 20% off Firestone wine, and 30% off reorder featured club wines. There are various packages you may choose to receive wine quarterly. The "Cellar" package includes three bottles and "Double Me Up" includes six bottles. Then you may choose a "Red" package with three bottles average price of $55 and $110 for six bottles. Or you can choose the "White" package with three bottles average price of $37 and $74 for six bottles. The "Mixed" package is also available with selections of all varieties; three bottle shipment prices average $51 and six bottle shipment averages $102, plus shipping and taxes.
Basically, if you join the club and gather five friends to taste wines at one or more of the featured tasting rooms, this is a great deal! :) Next time I'm headed back to the coast with some friends, I know what I'm doing.