Highway 246 runs directly through the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. If you plan to visit wineries along this route pack a lunch because locations with snacks are limited. We recommend Babcock or Star Lane if you are traveling without an appointment and would like to picnic. Our featured photo is the shaded picnic tables at Melville. If you have the opportunity to book ahead, do so at Pence Ranch. Fog and cool breezes enter the Sta. Rita Hills from Jalama Beach. These conditions create breathtaking views and desirable conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Lompoc Wine Ghetto and Industrial Way are located within the region but we list them as a separate destinations on this page.
The Lompoc Wine Ghetto is a collection of tasting rooms adjacent to the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 246. Twenty four different labels are spread over a three block radius in up-cycled industrial buildings. Cool weather Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the sounding Sta. Rita Hills AVA are featured at many of these locations. Look for food trucks and facilities outside of Zotovich and Kessler Haak on weekends. Most venues are flexible with outside food, as long as it is not consumed at the tasting bar. Don’t forget to check out The Wine Factory and Longoria which are located in Downtown Lompoc on the same block.
Purisima Concepcion de Mar is located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA just before Highway 246 passes through Lompoc. In 1787 it became the eleventh mission established by the Spanish and grew to produce enough agriculture to feed a population over 1500. Wheat, corn and beans were harvested in the fields, along with pears utilized for Brandy. Produced by Father Fermin Lausen the sacramental pear brandy was praised worldwide. Parking is $5 and Self-guided tour maps are available for $1 at the entrance station. For more information please visit www.lapurisimamission.org.
Uniquely placed in the center of the Santa Ynez Valley, Buellton allows access to scenic wineries and urban tasting trails. Wineries on Santa Rosa Road offer the back roads experience with thinned crowds and panoramic landscapes. If you are making a "Sideways" pilgrimage to the Hitching Post, include one of the tasting rooms on Industrial Way. Our featured photo is the new age tasting bar at Bottlest Bistro. Industrial Way is home to Kalyra's new tasting room Helix which serves sparkling whites and dessert wine. New tasting rooms for the Loring Wine Company and Margerum Wine are on Industrial Way. LWC pairs Reserve Pinot Noir with specialized shortbread cookies, which we recommend.