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Santa Ynez, Southern California

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Spend an afternoon horseback riding and wine tasting in Santa Ynez

18 Sep 2013 3:31 PM
Spend an afternoon horseback riding and wine tasting in Santa Ynez

Because of its rolling hillsides and verdant meadows, as well as ample sunshine and warm weather year-round, the Santa Ynez Valley is one of the most versatile regions of California, affording its residents and visitors a multitude of opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Those spending time in this area typically find themselves outdoors, and participating in a number of different activities. 

One of the favorite excursions of those who own luxury real estate in Santa Ynez - as well as individuals who are just enjoying an extended tour of the area - is a horseback ride through the countryside, which is perfectly punctuated with an expertly coordinated tasting of classic and contemporary wines. Numerous local businesses offer this service, but only a few are able to successfully cater to affluent thrill-seekers and international travelers. Those that can, and do, include:

Vino Vaqueros
This business, located on Foxen Canyon Road in Los Olivos, enables its clients to spend an afternoon exploring the scenic grounds of different ranches and vineyards in the area. Individuals can customize their experience by choosing which winery to visit and when, as well as what gourmet dishes they wish to dine on afterward.

Patrons have their pick of the Estelle Vineyards, Fess Parker Vineyards or Firestone Vineyard, and can enjoy pairing their wines with locally made sandwiches and salads or an elegant, tapas-style meal. Exclusive solo and group packages are available, or riders can pair up with other revelers the day of their visit. 

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
Those looking to enjoy luxurious accommodations and partake in a range of engaging activities - aside from the horseback riding - may want to schedule their next visit to this compound on Alisal Road in Solvang. Boasting an old west ambiance, patrons of this destination resort seldom have little to do. Tennis courts, two 18-hole golf courses as well as fishing, boating and swimming on the private, 100-acre lake are available to all guests.

The horseback rides take visitors on many trails around the area's beautiful hillsides and canyons at different times of day, and during all seasons. Private lessons are also available. After rides, guests can enjoy relaxing with a special selection from the resort's Alisal Wine Club. The executive chef and wine club manager hand-select blends from boutique producers and estate wines from around California, and offer to ship them to anywhere for those in any of their three levels of membership.