Welcome to Santa Rita Hills
When it comes to country-road scenery, eco-conscious farming practices and top-notch Pinot Noir, the less-traveled Santa Rita Hills (www.staritahills.com) region holds its own. Almost a dozen tasting rooms line an easy driving loop west of Hwy 101 via Santa Rosa Rd and Hwy 246. Be prepared to share the roads with cyclists and an occasional John Deere tractor. More artisan winemakers hide out in the industrial warehouses of Buellton near Hwy 101 and further afield in Lompoc, where you can combine a visit to La Purísima mission with an exploration of the town's 'Wine Ghetto,' a concentration of tasting rooms centered on Industrial Way, located on the eastern edge of the town, generally open only at weekends. See www.lompoctrail.com for more information.