At the Santa Ynez Inn, we are thrilled to be able to showcase the best of wine country in all we do at the inn. And do we have a lot to choose from! The wineries are abundant and our guests love that we alternate showcasing our neighbor wineries when we serve wine during our wine hour at the inn. Today we are highlighting Sunstone Winery. Check back soon for various other spotlights on our other amazing winery partners and neighbors!
Sunstone, a boutique winery named after the vineyard estate’s exposed sun-dappled shale and stones, is the one of the premiere destination wineries on the central coast. Located just 30-minutes north of Santa Barbara most visitors would agree, Sunstone is arguably one of the most beautiful vineyards and winery tasting rooms on California’s Central Coast.
The tasting room is reminiscent of some of the small wineries in the Provencal French countryside, featuring a kitchen complete with a wood-burning oven and two stone barrel-aging caves built into the hillside. The gorgeous courtyards and picnic grounds provide the perfect place to experience the wines. The Villa at Sunstone now serves as an extension of the Sunstone Winery lifestyle by providing a culinary center to entertain guests for weddings, winemaker dinners and private culinary retreats.
Sunstone’s twenty-eight acre vineyard, planted in 1990 to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Viognier is farmed in an organic, bio-sustainable manner, meeting all California Certified Organic Farmer standards. Sunstone’s winemaker, Nick de Luca, is dedicated to producing world-class Bordeaux and Rhone style wines, utilizing organically grown wine grapes from the estate vineyards, and grapes from other certified organic vineyards.
Sunstone is renowned for its Rhone varietals, including Viognier, which received a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Wine Competition, and their unique Syrah that rated 90 Points at the Wine Enthusiast’s Beverage Testing Institute. Highly acclaimed “Eros”, a Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, has earned Best of Class at the Los Angeles County Fair, and also received 90 Points in Wine Enthusiast. And because locals know best, Sunstone has also been honored by the Santa Barbara Independent reader poll as “Santa Barbara’s Favorite Red Wine” and “Best Tasting Room”.
Based on the Rice family’s values, Sunstone is an environmentally responsible company dedicated to organic grape growing, worker health, recycling and reusing whenever possible. They are completely dedicated to excellence in grape-growing, winemaking, hospitality and a highly-ethical responsibility to the people they hire and serve. The relationships they foster with customers, employees, farmers, purveyors, contractors and community members is paramount.