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Tour Checklist: Top Red Wines Of Santa Ynez Valley

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

A concoction that pairs heavenly with a variety of foods and delights your taste buds, red wine has the makings of a delightful blend. This wine variety is primarily produced with rich and robust flavors, and carries a bunch of health benefits as an added bonus.

If you are planning a visit to the winemaking regions of central Californian coast, make sure to get in as many red wine samples as possible.

The winemakers, vineyard owners and vintners in Santa Ynez have made contributions to the top red wine collections in the world. To help you get the best out of your visit to one of their tasting rooms, we have created a list of many types of red wine you should experience on a Santa Ynez wine tasting tour.


A Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, a favorite for wine lovers who prefer bold taste. This red wine is usually combined with other cabs and oak aged to incorporate an intense earthy flavor. Created from late-ripened red grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon is of a deep purple-red color, with a flavor that resembles that of currants and black cherries.

Meal Tip: Pour a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with a meat-based dinner. It pairs particularly well with various types of steaks.


Even if you have never seen or tasted this red wine before, you may have heard of it. Beautiful coloring and delight drinkability contributes to Merlot’s popularity, and versatility makes it a great blend for wine novices. Merlot is typically soft in flavor; the blend consists of less tannin amount, thus not as bold in flavor as other red wine varieties.

Meal Tip: The red wine’s versatility carries to its pairing possibilities. You can match Merlot with any meal you like.


Pinot Noir is dry, tart and herbal, something you don’t want miss out on your visit to Santa Ynez, which excels in exceptional varieties of this red wine. A Pinot wine is made with ‘temperamental’ grapes, a tricky base for winemakers to work with. Pinot Noir is not blended with any other wine types, and are less fruity and aromatic than most wines.

Meal Tip: Pair a glass of Pinot with a plateful of lighter meats, such as chicken, fish or lamb.


Syrah is one of most delicious red wines you will sample in Santa Ynez. This red wine is full-bodied, and requires more aging than most blends before it can be combined with other red varieties, or served on its own. Identify a great Syrah from its punch of black current, meaty and black pepper aromas and flavors.

Meal Tip: A Syrah is best paired with meat dishes such as stew, steak or even venison.

At Artisan Excursion, we want you to be well-informed of all the unique red wines Santa Ynez has to offer. Let us plan your wine tasting tour, and whisk you away on a memorable journey to red-winemaking specialists in the wine country!

Call us today at 805-734-7565 to book your tour!

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