Well you knew there had to be more than one post about drinking wine in California, didn’t you? Come on this is a big state and there are lots of grape varietals that need sampling. Besides, we like to support the local economy where ever we are.
The town of Solvang caught our eye because of its unique charm and quaint character that is all things Danish. In fact it is called the “Little Denmark.” So what does that really mean…danishes…those sweet, flaky, guilt-ridden tasty pleasures that we were going to indulge in. We woke up early in the morning and headed out for sweets and we found some. There is no need to sleep in when there is good food to be eaten.
|Even Spirit wanted danishes.|
|Note the stork and nest on|
top of the building.
Solvang and its sister towns of Buellton, Los Olivos, and Santa Ynez sit in what is known as the Santa Ynez valley. Next time you are drinking an American Chardonnay, Viogner, Pinot Noir, or Syrah, check the label to see if it came from this region as they are known for these grapes. The grapes are a result of the regions unique terroir (which is a fancy French term for describing the unique combination of how geography, geology and climate affect plant characteristics). The Santa Rita Hills that flank this area run east to west instead of the typical north-south orientation and create distinctive micro-climates that some grape varietals thrive in. Remember the movie “Sideways” and the pinot noir loving character Miles? That was filmed in this area and highlighted some of over 80 wineries that dot the hills.
|Yea, a wine tasting. Some women we met at the campground steered us to Bridlewood Winery and it was a great recommendation.|
|Downtown Los Olivos|
|We quickly discovered that this town is mostly wine tasting rooms.|
|The town of Los Olivos blends Old California with modern-day charm.|
I don’t want you to think that we just ate fattening danishes the whole time. At one point we went for a bowl of pea soup (I guess that is healthy) at the famed Pea Soup Anderson’s. The restaurant has been in business since 1924 and its quirky mascots “Hap-pea” and “Pea-wee” have been promoting split pea soup for years. One look at the place and you will know how successful it is with a restaurant, banquet hall, hotel, gift shop, and much more.
|A bowl of pea soup served in a toasted sourdough bowl with sides of cheese, ham, onions, bacon bits, and croutons.|
|The restaurants mascots "Hap-pea" (left) and "Pea-wee"|
I would recommend to anyone that they should stop in this area - and if you don't have an RV you can stay at one of the many inns and hotels. Solvang is located about 30 miles from Santa Barbara and offers a slow-paced atmosphere with wonderful charm. We stayed for 3 days but easily could have stayed longer.