Soaking Up Solvang
Solvang is a winery community located about 2 hours north of Los Angeles. It was initially founded from a land grant the Mexican government provided to Dutch settlers in 1911. The Dutch influence on architecture is still visible on the street today. The influence is so deep there is a replica of Copenhagen's round tower and a statue and replica of the childhood home Hans Christian Anderson.
We decided to go to Solvang on a Sunday so that we had more free time to roam around the area. When we arrived, you first notice all of the Danish influence on the architecture as you can certainly observe from the above photos. The Danish provincial style is due to Ferdinand Sorensen, who originally designed many of the buildings following World War II and it permeates all areas of Solvang.
We mainly wanted to tour Solvang to see the wineries, which there are many of in Solvang. The climate is more amenable to the growth of grapes than other areas of Southern California and it makes for a wonderful Sunday to stroll through the adorable streets and taste many different wines along the way.
Our favorite vineyards:
This tasting was particularly enjoyable because not only did they have wonderful wines, but they were all paired with the perfect cheese. Wine and cheese are essential my two meal favorites so I was sold on the mere idea of a wine and cheese tasting. The vineyard has been around since 1974 and prides itself on remaining a boutique vineyard that is never too large to be able to focus on their winemaking craft.
Cali Love Wine
This was the first Vineyard that we visited. While there, we met many charming individuals who stopped by to appreciate the wines and the musical selections. The owners are both musicians and preform once a month at the tasting room. There is also an extensive collection of vinyl records that are available for purchase while you sip their wines. Cali Love definitely had one of the most interesting wines that we tasted, with notes of peanut butter and jelly and jalapeño (completely serious). You can look at their wines and investigate joining their wine club here. We joined while we were in for the tasting and our first shipment arrived in under one week!
Lucas and Lewellen
This vineyard is consistently on the best vineyards list. The have been crafting quality wines since Louis Lucas and Superior Court Judge Royce Lewellen met in 1975. Lucas had been a third generation wine grower at that time and was supplying grapes to well know wineries in Sonoma and Napa Valley. The field near Solvang, in the Santa Ynez valley, produces much of their Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Cabernet Francs (which I adore). They also produce the occasional Syrah from this location. Stop by for a tasting and maybe consider joining their wine cub here.
Solvang is known for many other things besides wine. There are a plethora of eateries dedicated to providing locally produced items as well as Danish favorites. Everywhere we went for a quick snack was incredible. There was a sausage place located near the center of town that had incredible bratwurst. No matter what, you cannot go wrong with any of the food that you find there.
Next time you are in Southern California, consider taking a tour of Solvang. It might be beneficial to spend a night there so that you can really take in all of the wine and enjoy the evening. There is a not a true night seen in Solvang but it makes it more relaxing when you are not pressured to have to drive home later in the afternoon.