Sip your way along the Ventura County Wine Trail, where you’ll find more than two dozen wineries and tasting rooms clustered in or near the cities of Ventura and Oxnard. Settings range from urban neighborhoods to such bucolic environs as the Santa Monica Mountains, Camarillo, and the Ojai Valley; the variety of minerals in the soil and the cold air that blows in from the ocean make the region particularly well suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are also stars here.
The city of Ventura is home to numerous tasting venues—one that shouldn’t be missed is Four Brix Winery’s BrixHouse tasting room, in the heart of downtown. Stay for a while for as you enjoy a charcuterie plate or gluten-free pizza. Sample exquisite reds in a 1902 Victorian building at Rancho Ventavo Cellars in the next-door city of Oxnard’s historic Heritage Square. In the nearby city of Camarillo, 10 miles to the east, visit the tasting room of Cantara Cellars, which offers barrel tastings of its vintages (pair them with cheeses and other snacks served in a low-key lounge area; they also brew their own beer under the Flat Fish Brewing Co. label). Or get a taste of Ojai Valley’s terroir at Boccali Vineyards & Winery, where you can sample estate-grown Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel in a tasting room housed in the vineyard’s family-run Italian restaurant. Another outstanding wine-centric dining destination is Tierra Sur; it serves locally sourced New American fare at Herzog Wine Cellars, known for award-winning Kosher wines.
For an in-depth look at the Ventura County wine scene, take a tour led by wine experts at Explore Wines, or head out on a custom trip with Ventura County Limousine Wine Tours. With so many wineries within such close proximity, Ventura County tasting tours are often able to include more winery visits than tours in other regions, where wineries are more spread out.