While we were sipping wine at Palmina in the morning, it rained. By the time we left around 1:00, the sun broke through, and we had a beautiful 15 minute drive to our next stop, Alma Rosa.
At Alma Rosa, the focus of our group was Pinot Noir. They also make a Pinot Gris, a pinot blanc, and a chardonnay, but the selection of Pinot Noirs were the stars. Since I don't drink red wine, I agreed to be the designated driver. My time at Alma Rosa was mostly spent outside the wine tasting rooms, enjoying the scenery, and the details of the surroundings. If you want to know more about the wines, you'll need to talk to Shannon, Nancy, Krista, Steve or Brad.
You may recognize Chris, from his role in "Sideways". He is quite a local foodie, and we enjoyed chatting with him!
From Alma Rosa, we drove to Buellton to Avant. Avant is a very cool wine bar tucked away in an industrial setting. You walk upstairs into a large contemporary loft and get a "credit card" to insert into tasting machines lining two long walls. (Like the Cantine in Greve in Chianti). Tastes range in price from 75 cents to $5.25. I sat at a table with a huge mug of steaming coffee while the others scattered with their glasses. Soon a couple plates of snacks were ordered, and the group reassembled. It was the perfect place to relax, and chat with the chef before returning to our rooms to freshen up for dinner!