10 SENSORIAL DESTINATIONS ON CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL COAST
When most people think of California wine, Napa comes to mind. But my wine destination is the state’s Central Coast. The area is a bit undiscovered and just starting to ripen. This is where you still get to talk about terroir with the winemaker, hear the silence of the vineyard soaking in brilliant sun, and end a day of surfing with a Bordeaux that rivals its French counterpart. When I travel, I seek places that fill my senses, and California’s Central Coast is where I go to ideate new fragrances and get inspired.
Here's my top 10 list of sensorial destinations on California's Central Coast. Explore!
1. RIVERBENCH VINEYARDS
This is exactly where you can experience an utterly perfect California Chardonnay. It will change how you feel about this varietal forever. K+J's roll-on Blends perfumes are on display at the tasting room bar, so you can match aromas to the luscious wines.LOS OLIVOS GENERAL STORE
This boutique in the chic town of Los Olivos has the best curation of local foods, apothecary and wine art. The owners are also winemakers, so sip on a glass of their fragrant Malvasia while you shop. Don't forget to pick up a K+J Wine Cabin candle and bottle of Larner wine while you're there.PETITE RETREAT
Before a day of wine tasting, I like to hit the surf. This Airbnb in Montecito is a dreamy getaway where I can run down to the beach with a board and get my fix. Just blocks from shore, the studio is a darling space surrounded by a fragrant garden and an outdoor shower. Plus the host, Kathleen, is super creative, cool and kind!NAGY WINES
Clarissa Nagy is owner and winemaker at this quaint tasting room. Her Pinot Noirs are like magical wild berry forests; her Viognier is bottled jasmine. Not only is she one of the most talented female vintners in the West, her story is inspiring and enlightening. We're especially excited to work with Clarissa, who stocks our scents as well as our Perfumer's Guide to Wine Aromas. Plus, I have a secret crush on James, who's usually there pouring the scented treasures in the tasting room. He can describe the aromas of an oak barrel like a master perfumer mixing a rare vanilla.
5. FUNK ZONE
This “urban wine trail” on the shores of Santa Barbara is a walkway with outposts of the region’s wineries. So you can surf and sip wine all in the same afternoon.
6. COYOTE RIDGE
This Airbnb is my Wine Cabin when I come to town. It’s a quirky, sassy tiny house and you’ll feel like Alice in Wonderland with its wine bottle wall-of-curiosities and a looking glass door that leads to vineyard trails.MUNICIPAL WINEMAKERS
The Muni tasting room is filled with vintage board games, up-cycled file cabinets and street art alongside some spectacularly fun wines and super cool staff.
A breathtaking stretch of rural highway that runs from the vineyards to the coast. Stand on a mountaintop there and feel the ocean winds blowing essences of minerality into the grapes.
World-class Bordeaux style wines, in a sun-soaked hidden valley covered with oak trees. Bring home a cherished bottle of their Isosceles.
This boutique winery blends incredible Bordeaux and other super sensorial varietals. And it's the perfect sipping view to take in the scent of the vineyards.