5 Best LA Wine-Tasting Tours

Southern California is home to some of the world’s most scenic wine country. Having offered wine-tasting tours throughout the region for over twenty years, we know the ins and outs of about every SoCal vineyard. From the tasting rooms in the city to the green rolling vineyards of the countryside — these are our top picks for best wine-tasting adventures in Southern California!



5. Los Angeles wine tours

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Airport sedan at Downtown’s San Antonio Winery

Although not home to any vineyards per say, tasting rooms are endless in the City of Angels. Maybe the most popular tours for our airport sedan and LA limousine services include the wineries of Downtown LA, including the San Antonio Winery, the oldest still producing winery in the city. San Antonio also offers daily behind-the-scenes tours of its winery, and is also one of few wineries to offer food. Many smaller independent wineries are found throughout the Greater LA Area, including St. James Spirits in Irwindale, Rancho De Philo Winery in Alta Loma, Galleano Winery in Mira Loma and Joseph Filippi Winery in Rancho Cucamonga. Orange County is home to numerous great tasting-rooms and wineries popular for limousine and party bus riders, including Anaheim’s O.C. Custom Wine, Sierra Madre Vineyard in Placentia, Stewarts Vineyards in Yorba Linda and the Departure Wine Company in Orange. Several of these wineries are only open for scheduled appointments, make sure to research opening times or contact our limo services to set up your wine tour itinerary.



Prefer party bus brewery-hopping with beer-tastings?



4. Santa Barbara wine tours

limo-in-santa-barbara-limousineYou don’t have to venture out in the backcountry to experience great tastings. There are numerous great tasting-rooms located within the city of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara wine tours to the Deep Sea Tasting Room on Stearns Wharf have become increasingly popular and offers gorgeous 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. One of the unique qualities of wine-tasting tours in Santa Barbara is the close proximity between the various tasting-rooms. A short walk separates over ten wineries in the city, including tasting-rooms such as the Corks n’ Crowns Tasting Room, Riverbench Santa Barbara Tasting Room, Kalyra by the Sea, Lafond Winery and Fox Wine Co. A great tour worth researching is the Sustainable Vine Wine Tours with behind-the-scene experiences at various wineries, including Ampelos Cellars, Demetria- and Alma Rosa Wineries. The Santa Barbara Winery is a must, which is the oldest winery in the county. A great start to a wine-tasting experience on the American Riviera is to watch the movie Sideways (2004). Featuring many of the county’s most popular wineries, watching Sideways will inspire and excite all wine-lovers.

3. Malibu wine tours

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Live music at Malibu Family Wines

Maybe despite what you might think, the inland Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu is home to nearly fifty vineyards with numerous great wineries and tasting rooms. Furthermore, Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio is a tasting-room for those who prefer tastings by the sea! Located just across the PCH from Topanga Beach is where we find Rosenthal, which often offers live music, outdoor movie screenings and standup comedy shows to accompany the wine-tasting. Further inland is where we find Cornell Winery & Tasting Room, Malibu Family Wines and SIP Malibu Grapes, three additional tasting rooms located in the beautiful Malibu Canyons and hidden away from the busy freeway. While picnicking is popular for limo- and party bus customers at Malibu Family Wines, while Cornell Winery & Tasting Room is situated right next-door from the Old Place Restaurant where one can easily combine a meal to the wine tour. It’s a lot of great live entertainment at both Malibu Family Wines and Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio. Make sure to check out their itineraries online to combine your wine-tasting tour with the entertainment of your choice.

2. Santa Ynez wine tours

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Sunstone Vineyards & Winery in Santa Ynez

One of Southern California’s most scenic and picturesque vineyards can be found in the Santa Maria- and Santa Ynez Valleys of Santa Barbara County. Conveniently located within a short drive from cities such as Santa Barbara and Ventura, these valleys of ever-green rolling hills and beautiful winery-mansions make for the ultimate Southern California wine-tasting adventure. Bordered by the Purisma Hills, Santa Ynez Mountains and San Rafael Mountains, the Santa Ynez Valley consists of over 40,000 acres of vineyards and is considered one of SoCal’s most unflawed and idyllic wine-growing regions in California. Some of the most popular wineries for limo services are the Sunstone Vineyards and Winery, Bridlewood Estate Winery, Firestone Vineyards, Kalyra Winery, Brander Vineyard and the Gainey Vineyard. Bridlewood makes for a quintessential tastings adventure and is surrounded by beautiful vineyards which are ideal for picnicking in the natural beauty of the valley. Both Bridlewood- and Sunstone Wineries are worth a visit solely because of its gorgeous architecture. While Bridlewood has an equestrian architecture, Sunstone is built after an European estate. Bring your picnic basket along and enjoy an outdoor lunch at Kalyra- or Bridlewood Winery!

1. Temecula wine tours

best-wine-tours-santa-barbaraArguably the most gorgeous vineyards in the nation can be found the famous Temecula Valley of Riverside County. Here you will find over 30,000 acres of vineyards and more than fifty wineries spread throughout the valley. With a tourism industry that accumulates over half a billion dollars per year, Temecula Valley is a tremendously popular limousine destination for both local Californians as well as tourists visiting the region. Located 85 miles south of Los Angeles, Temecula can be visited by taking a 90-minute ride south or by being combined with Palm Springs, which is relatively close by. Some of the most visited wineries by our limousine clientele include the Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyard, Mount Palomar Winery, Miramonte Winery, Leoness Cellars and Hart Family Winery. While Leoness Cellars and Mount Palomar Winery offer dining on location, the beautiful vineyards at Wilson Creek is also popular make for great picnicking. Live music and entertainment can be enjoyed at the Miramonte- and Mount Palomar Wineries. Tastings at Leoness Cellars are often served in the combination with food pairings such as cheeses and more. The beautiful palace and natural beauty surrounding the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa can make for a great getaway, complete with its own hotel, shops, restaurant, spa and more.

We serve all Southern California vineyards — from the Malibu Canyons to the Santa Ynez Mountain and down to the Temecula Valley. So for whatever kind of wine-tasting adventure you’d like to experience, contact us today at toll-free number (866) 319-LIMO to reserve your wine-tasting trip!

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SoCal’s Pre-Colonial People

historic-sight-seeing-tours-chumashSouthern California has been inhabited for many thousands years. Let’s explore some of our Native-American historic places! A region we serve on a daily basis as the largest transportation provider – Santa Barbara-, Ventura, & San Luis Obispo Counties – were all making up the areas of SoCal where the Chumash people inhabited. In this article, we will explore some of the historic and educational places where you can see, learn, and experience the Chumash culture and history. From reconstructed villages to thousand year old petroglyphs, there are tons of spots throughout the area where you can experience our counties’ native history and indigenous people. Did you know the Chumash could be the first builders of canoes in North America? Or that the Chumash traded with neighbors such as the Tongva people? And did you know that there are numerous caves you may visit to see pictographs dating back thousands of years? Or that the city name of Malibu comes from a Chumash word? Let’s explore some of SoCal’s great Native-American, pre-colonial history!

 

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The Chumash Painted Cave is a popular and educational getaway

Just 11 miles from the American Riviera we transferred customers on one of our sight seeing tours to the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park. Foreign tourists wanting to see the thousand-year-old pictographs made by the city’s indigenous population. What makes these paintings unique is the fact that you can see them close up, only separated a few inches by a fence. This is unlike many other “pre-historic” Chumash paintings in the region, e.g. Burro Flats Painted Cave in Simi Valley or other cities such as Newbury Park and Camarillo. On the National Register of Historic Places, Santa Barbara’s Painted Cave is one of the most convenient and easy places to witness California’s ancient history. The rock paintings here are one in a kind, and it is interesting to see Santa Barbara wine tour clients trying to interpret the different paintings. But we did the research! Look for instance for the sign for the sun: red with a ring around it. You can also see signs for all kinds of other things, including men, women, fertility (a line with another line going through it), water (zic zac line), and water (several vertical lines leading to a horizontal line.) Chumash pictographs can also be seen at Painted Rock on the Carrizo Plain of San Luis Obispo County.

 

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Venture out to the Channel Islands to learn more about the Chumash way of life!

Another possible destination for people interested in Chumash history is the California Channel Islands. Maybe easiest visited on a ferry trip with the Island Packers, the Channel Islands National Park is home to an abundance of native history. There were more than 1,200 Chumash islanders living on the islands, which also was home to ten villages. You’d be surprised, but more than 300,000 Chumash artifacts have been discovered on these islands! Our local clients and foreigners flying in and using our LAX airport limos have all told us about how these islands show how California once looked. Although largely undeveloped, the islands are popular for many recreational activities. Many like to go on hikes photographing the native landscape and looking for some of the endemic wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. Others visit “North America’s Galapagos” to camp overnight, while some visit to go scuba-diving or kayaking. Some simply bring a book and visit the islands to spend the day alone on one of the many beaches. Areas of Native-American history here include petroglyphs in Olsen’s Cave on Santa Cruz Island, or Jones Cave on Santa Rosa Island. Santa Rosa, once called Wi’ma by the islanders, was populated for over 13,000 years!

 

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The Painted Rock in San Luis Obispo has hundreds of ancient pictographs!

To explore some of the different unique artifacts that have been discovered, there are many choices you have. Some Santa Barbara limo clients head to the Mission, Natural History Museum, or the Historical Society. For clients further north, check out San Luis Obispo’s Hollister Adobe Museum, the Historical Museum, or the Mission San Luis Obispo Museum. In Ventura, the most popular places of Chumash significance include the Albinger Archeological Museum, the Ventura County Museum of History and Art, or the San Buena Ventura Mission Museum. If you’re by Ojai, check out the Ojai Valley Museum, or in Santa Maria see the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum. The Santa Ines Mission is your best bet in Solvang, Carpinteria has the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History and Historical Society, while Lompoc is home to the La Purisima Mission State Historical Park and the Lompoc Museum. In LA County? Check out the Chumash Discovery Village in Malibu or the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Mostly interested in historical displays? Check out the Presidio. Most interested in seeing how they live? On the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks and at the Chumash Discovery Village in Malibu there are reconstructed Chumash villages. The re-constructed village tours are popular for people on sight seeing tours, families on an educational outing with or without kids, and even for classes of school children in a party bus or two.

 

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The Chumash often ventured over the Channel to visit the islanders on the Channel Islands

Did you know that several cities throughout the region have names derived from the Chumash language? We recently learned this from curious tourists ordering an airport sedan to head straight to the reconstructed village in Thousand Oaks. Did you for instance know the city name Point Mugu derived from the Chumash name Muwu? Or Port Hueneme from Weneme? Malibu was once Humaliwo, Lompoc was Lompo, and Simi Valley was Shimiyi, which eventually became Simi. The Chumash traded with various groups in the area, including the Tongva Indians of today’s Los Angeles County. While the northern Channel Islands were inhabited by Chumash Islanders, the southern islands (San Nicolas-, San Clemente-, San Clemente Islands) were all populated by the neighboring Tongva people. There are evidence that suggests these groups not only interacted on each other’s territories, but they also sailed with canoes to visit and do trade with other indigenous peoples. Experts riding with our limousine service have explained that they traded with the Yokuts people in the north to get tobacco and obsidian, while traded with the inland Mojave people to get items more abundant in the desert regions of the Mojave Indians.

 

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Check out the replica of an ancient Chumash village at the Thousand Oaks Chumash Museum!

So how many Chumash were there? Anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber estimated a Chumash population of 10,000 as of 1770, while Alan K. Brown believed it to have been 15,000 in the 1770’s. Sherburne F. Cook estimated a total population of between 8,000 and 20,000 when the Europeans first came to California. What we do know however is that the native population sank drastically when discovered by European settlers. By the year 1900, only 200 Chumash Indians were left. By the U.S. Census of 2000, the Chumash population had increased though to a total number of 4,032 individuals. Having inhabited Southern California for over 12,000 years, the Chumash is definitely a group worth knowing more about, and in that way, also learning more about our state’s great history! Whether you are searching for a Santa Barbara wine tour, transportation for your prom or wedding day, or to learn more about the state’s unique history at the many historic venues and museums, call us for more information on our luxury transportation services. Our fleet is the largest in the region, containing party buses, stretch limos, sedans, SUV’s, and other specialty vehicles for any group.

Looking for an LA- or Santa Barbara limo to Las Vegas? We can help you! Recently we had clients on this long trip as well wanting to take a break in Sloan, Nevada. This little hidden away small-town may didn’t seem like much, but our clients decided to stop here to visit the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area after having researched it online. And boy were we wrong! Sloan was home to hundreds of several thousands of years old rock paintings! Looking for LAX airport limos? A party bus for a night on town with friends? Or maybe just a chauffeured vehicle for a special night on town with your love(d) one(s). Contact your local SoCal transportation company today!