Santa Barbara Wine Tasting Made Easy

A coalition of wineries brings Santa Barbara wine tasting downtown By: Kenneth Shapiro
Santa Barbara wine tasting is now available downtown. // (c) 2012 Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail
Santa Barbara wine tasting is now available downtown. // (c) 2012 Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail

The Details

Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail

Santa Barbara has one more reason to raise a glass and toast — the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail (SBUWT) has formally incorporated. To celebrate their band of 17 unique wine-tasting rooms downtown, they are pouring all kinds of fun for locals and visitors this summer, starting with its first “Passport Weekend.”

Created by a group of like-minded wineries, the SBUWT offers both novices and aficionados the opportunity to learn about and taste wines of many different varieties and styles crafted from Santa Barbara County’s best vineyards. With all 17 tasting rooms conveniently located in the culturally emerging “Funk Zone” neighborhood in downtown Santa Barbara, and only blocks from the beach, the SBUWT is designed for those who want to sip and savor some of Santa Barbara County’s finest wines without taking a lengthy drive. A uniquely “green” wine-tasting experience, this trail can be navigated by foot, bike or even by pedi-cab, and often allows for detours to shop and sightsee. Rolling hills and breathtaking vineyard views are certainly a treat, but this urban option is a dream for those looking to maximize their wine-tasting experience without ever having to leave downtown Santa Barbara.

The SBUWT is hosting its first-ever Passport Weekend, inviting guests to sip their way into summer, and enjoy a weekend of wine in the Santa Barbara sunshine, July 27-29. The weekend will feature special tasting opportunities from the various tasting rooms, the chance to meet winemakers, sample reserve vintage exhibitions and enjoy light bites and live music. The cost is $75 per person and that includes tastings at all SBUWT member wineries for the weekend. All Passport Weekend guests will receive an official SBUWT Passport and logo glass, and can take advantage of a 10 percent discount off all wine purchases at all SBUWT member tasting rooms that weekend.

Guests can begin their wine tasting adventures at any of the three check-in points where they can also purchase passes and pick up their passports and glasses. Passports are also currently available online for purchase.

“The Urban Wine Trail is the newest way to explore Santa Barbara Wine Country, right in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara,” said Ryan Carr, the chairman of the board of the SBUWT. “While many guests love to make the trip out to wine country, we understand that sometimes there’s not enough time during your visit to fit in all the amazing attractions Santa Barbara has to offer. The Urban Wine Trail is a great alternative to sip and savor all the amazing wines coming from our region, and discover a fun and new approach to wine tasting.”

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