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Andrew Murray & Qupé are two wines I'm familiar with from before my first visit to Santa Ynez. Both have excellent vintages, as well as tasting rooms in the town of Santa Ynez, so it's easy no driving required once you get to town.
The Andrew Murray tasting room has a very modern and funky vibe, with lots of white and primary colors. I found the woman working the room to be very knowledgeable and pleasant to chat with. She wasn't pushy, either, letting us try the wines at our own pace, telling us about each one with lots of detail, and answering questions when we had them.
The Qupé wine room has a more classic feel, with lots of bare wood panels, counter, shelves, etc. I found the server that day to be let pleasant. She gave the rundown on each wine as she poured it, but it felt more rote, less genuine, and then she hovered as we tasted each one. It made for a less pleasant experience. I'm hoping it's indicative of all the staff at Qupé.
That being said, both vineyards offer excellent wines and are worth visiting. While you're in Santa Ynez, you can also check out the many other tasting rooms in town.
Written Dec 3, 2012
Down home-style, large portions of your favorite comfort foods; Hamburgers, Sandwiches, and fries in a western motif.
Written Mar 3, 2008
Address: 3539 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, CA
Nice, quiet, Zagat-rated little eatery tucked away on a small strip in Santa Ynez. Awesome service, amazing ambiance, and perfect food.
Favorite Dish: ~PIZZA! So good!
~Pastas are amazing!
~Regional wine list.
Written Feb 22, 2008
Beautiful view of Zaca Lake, and the nice tree branches hanging down from the canopy, with morning sunlight filtered throught the leaves, it's the best breakfast spot on earth.
Favorite Dish: Only had breakfast buffet there, best walnut scone and other pastries, fruits, tea and coffee are included in you stay.
Written Oct 5, 2002
On our drive to Monterey we saw a sign for blueberries and stopped at the Restoration Oaks U-Pick blueberry farm in Santa Ynez. You pick your own blueberries -- its a lot of fun and the fruit tastes way better than the store-bought stuff. We had a small carton of blueberries in our camper already and the taste did not even compare - the hand picked berries were far and above more flavorful. We eventually threw out the blueberries from the store since our hand-picked blueberries tasted so much better.
When you arrive they give you a small metal bucket to put the blueberries in. You go out into their field which is covered in netting to prevent the birds from stealing all of the goods. Blueberries are available on plants of several varieties. When you get back to the roadside stand with your blueberries, there is a $15 charge for a full bucket or $7.50 for a half bucket. Our half bucket of blueberries lasted the three of us for a week. We put them on cereal and even made blueberry pancakes!
Picking is seasonal so be sure to call ahead. The farm is located at 1980 Highway 101, Santa Ynez Valley, California.
Written Sep 1, 2009