My husband has been working from home for 483 days (but who’s counting!!??!!) at the time this article was published. I don’t know about you, but after so many months in quarantine with my nearest and dearest (and if you know me well, you can see that deadpan half smile as I say those words out loud), I’ve been DESPERATE to escape with my girlfriends. After a lunch with my bestie, we were both clearly feeling the same way, because four weeks later we were driving into wine country for a girls weekend away!
Our plan was to eat, drink wine, belly laugh, drink wine, eat, drink wine, laugh some more and then perhaps we might drink some wine if there was time. You get the gist.
The Santa Ynez Valley is about a two and a half hour drive from Los Angeles and is filled with spectacular scenery. Once you pass through the Santa Barbara beaches and golden cliffs glowing next to the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean, you begin to climb high into the Santa Ynez Mountains. As you drive through the rolling vineyards and canopies of oak trees, you immediately feel the stress melt away. Santa Ynez Valley has over 120 wineries, a fab culinary scene, and the most charming towns.
Foxen Winery is one of my all time favorite wineries, located deep in the Santa Ynez Valley. The entrance to the winery has a beautiful rustic feel, and the ambiance felt warm and inviting the minute we walked through the door.
Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded FOXEN at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in northern Santa Barbara County. The winery is named in memory of William Benjamin Foxen, an English sea captain and Dick’s great-great grandfather, who came to Santa Barbara in the early 1800s.
Foxen Winery is primarily known for their elegant smooth Pinot Noirs, however their solar-powered tasting room is literally FILLED with Burgundy and Rhone style wines.
They offer two tastings; a six varietal tasting and a Pinot-only tasting. We were extremely fortunate to sample wine from both tasting menus. The owners, Dick and Jenny (and Timbo) were warm and welcoming hosts, and stopped by for the most lovely chat.
Foxen Winery is SIP Certified, which is a program highlighting the importance of protecting natural resources, supporting social responsibility and sustainable winemaking practices. Foxen produces other noteworthy wines including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Rhone-style wines, representing the diversity that Santa Ynez Valley is capable of producing. However, the Pinot is by far their crown jewel.
‘The Shack’ is an old stagecoach stop that now operates as one of two wine tasting rooms for Foxen Vineyard, and was unfortunately closed due to covid. ‘The Shack’ is the older original tasting room and has bigger bolder wines that are equally delightful. I’d love to come back for another girls weekend away to experience ‘The Shack’ for myself when it hopefully opens in August 2021!
*** This article is sponsored but all opinions are my own***
I’m a travel and health writer, digital and brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two active boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.