The Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley

From the Vine–Learn About the Excellent New  Wine Trolley


In my introduction to this week’s From the Vine column (May 21, 2015), I asked if you’ve heard about the very convenient, new Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley. I explained it’s not just for tourists, it’s a great benefit for local wine lovers, too! Think about it, you can park anywhere along the route, join the party on the Wine Trolley, and get back to your car or pick-up spot (to get home safely with a family member, friend, Uber, or Lyft) within about 70 minutes per route.

And you can spend as much time as you like at any of the fine wine producers along the wine trails. Say you wanted to enjoy a bottle of Rose or Pinot Noir or Chardonnay with the elaborate cheese and charcuterie tray at Presquile, they serve the nicest choice in food selections, you could stay there two hours and still make it to the other wineries. If you eat rich foods like salami and cheese while you drink wine, is slows down the process so you don’t get too woozy (and that’s a very good thing).


Here’s the free link to read the column as it appeared today in the Santa Maria Times, and the Lompoc Record:

When I sent this column in, my editor wasn’t thrilled I covered this since they had their web guy who covers government stories on it. I think that guy just wanted to join a much more fun tour than listen to more politics, and his focus was strictly on the trolley. My focus, as you know and my editor should have expected, is mostly on wine country and finding a great way to travel it safely, so you can drink as much as you want. Still, hoping no one thinks that’s an invitation to get drunk. And I can tell you that every wine lover finds a drunk disgusting (we wine lovers keep ourselves safe and everyone around us by staying in our right minds and using designated drivers). We think you drunks are jerks who give all drinkers a bad name. Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll focus on the fun of riding the Wine Trolley.

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Photos by Dan Hardesty


First of all, you’ll surely make new friends with fellow winemakers like yourselves, we always do. You can ride without fear knowing there’s a sober driver chauffeuring you from one great winery to another. And you can draw out your day exactly as you want it. After all, each destination in the Santa Maria Valley has ideal gardens and foods for purchase making for a perfect picnic with panoramic views of Santa Maria wine country, killer wines at reasonable prices, and a friendly staff who will keep you feeling right at home. There’s is one thing you must be sure to note, the cheap $10 wine trolley fare (if paid in advance, $18 if you try to hop on at the last minute) does NOT include tasting rooms fees. That said, if you’re with your one-and-only soulmate, you can share the tastings by purchasing one tasting glass, cutting the tasting room fee in half and it will help you keep your head, Alice (in Wonderland).

Dan and I joined the wine trolley media tour and found it convenient and fun. And there was no doubt about it, people were ultra friendly and happy to swap winery tasting room stories. We recommend planning it out in advance, so you know exactly where you want to spend extra time. Another excellent choice would be catching the wine trolley in Old Orcutt, where there’s no problem finding an unlimited time parking spot, and after an afternoon on the wine trails, ending it in Old Orcutt where you have many great choices for an early dinner to sober up before driving home.

You can get much more information by visiting:

Bon appetit!


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