The 5 Best Wine Tours and Excursions From Los Angeles

The Santa Barbara Valley has the perfect climate for cultivating pinot noir and chardonnay
The Santa Barbara Valley has the perfect climate for cultivating pinot noir and chardonnay | © Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Molly Codyre

There is more to California wine than the Napa Valley. Some of the state’s most renowned wine production areas are within day-tripping distance of LA, which means you can be sipping a world-class chardonnay in Santa Barbara by lunchtime. Let someone else do the driving, and leave more room for wine tasting, with one of these guided wine tours near Los Angeles.

1. Santa Barbara Wine Lovers Tour

Tours

Santa Barbara Valley is the longest transverse valley on the Western Pacific Coast, making it perfect for cool-climate wines such as pinot noir and chardonnay. Taste your way through some of these distinctive wines with this small-group tour that takes you to boutique wineries, vineyards, cellars and tasting rooms alongside a picnic lunch to keep you fueled. Get an insider’s look at the area’s vibrant winemaking culture as you explore with an experienced guide, learn about the Santa Ynez Valley’s unique history and try the varietals and blends that it’s best known for. If you want to stay close then check out our selection of Santa Barbara’s best hotels.

2. Half-Day Paso Robles Wine Tasting Tour

Tours, Activities

Paso Robles is the biggest producer of one of California’s biggest wine exports: zinfandel. On this half-day tour you’ll learn more about this varietal alongside others common in the area, such as cabernet sauvignon and syrah. Bouncing between three different wineries, your guide will fill you in on the significance and history of each area, including why Paso Robles’s unique climate makes it perfect for the grapes that grow here. You’ll leave with some new friends and an increased appreciation for the region’s wine production.

3. Vintage VW Hippie Tour to Malibu with Wine Tasting

Tours, Activities

Starting in the city itself, your hosts Stephen and Justin will collect you from Santa Monica Pier in their sunshine-orange VW van, before whizzing you up the coast to Malibu. Starting at a local tasting room, you’ll get to sample wines from a range of California regions, accompanied by a cheese platter. From here, you’ll head along the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping at lesser-known local spots for the best views in the area. Don’t forget to grab some pictures with your memorable ride before returning to Santa Monica, where you can stay at one of the city’s many luxury hotels.

5. The Temecula Wine & Vine Tour – from OC and Anaheim

Tours, Activities

This tour will take you from the city to the Temecula wine region in no time. Covering four wineries, you’ll taste plenty of award-winning wines common to the Mediterranean-like region. Get familiar with varietals such as sangiovese, montepulciano and viognier, which you can sample while nibbling from meat and cheese platters. A relaxing and informative day that will leave you with an impressive amount of knowledge about lesser-known wines.

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