Wine Tasting in Santa Barbara


Fun fact: elephants can paint labels for wine bottles. Were you aware of this?

This weekend, we went to Santa Barbara for our own little wine tasting tour. The first winery we stopped at was called Kalyra. I complimented the design of one of the bottles, and the woman working behind the counter informed me that it was painted by an elephant. At first I thought I had misunderstood her, then I decided I should’ve just eaten more lunch before wine imbibing.

I made one of my friends ask and got the same answer. So it’s true. Some of these bottles were painted by elephants. I have no idea how that ties into the Australian theme of the shop, but it’s still pretty cool. They had fun jewelry, t-shirts, etc for sale. The owner is from Australia—“Kalyra” in the Australian Aborginal form means “a wild and pleasant place.” That it was!

Winery Wine 3 for blog

We had fun sampling several wines there, and we got complimentary wine glasses (and I’m not ashamed to admit that’s why we picked Kalyra in the first place).


Here we are inside and outside the winery. When you pick wine tasting for a Saturday afternoon outing, it’s a good bet that the girls are going to outnumber the boys. As in, there were three of us girls and Dave.

{He’s a keeper. Haha.}


Wine 7 for blog

After Kalyra, where I debated buying an elephant-painted bottle but ended up deciding against it (I am sorry, Mr. Australian Elephant), we headed to our second destination, which contained checkers and a shuffleboard table. Shuffleboard and wine in the same place? This excited all parties involved.

It was a beautiful place that was dimly lit and had a “barnyard” theme. Their wine was fantastic, but I deduct points for the fact that they gave us menus to an upscale pizza place that delivers to the winery. Why? Because after deciding on the Chorizo and Queso pizza (!!), we called and got a recording that the pizza place was “out of the office.” Um, ok? I was craving pizza with chorizo on it for approximately the next 24 hours. I’m not totally over it yet, actually.

But it was still a pretty place …

Winery Winery

Winery Winery

We left Winery #2 starving and on a pizza mission. Instead, at Winery #3 we got Thai food and more yard games (Cornhole or Bags, for you Midwesterners who know what the game is). Dave was pleased with his decision to join us on the wine hop after two wineries had games and one had artistic elephants. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Sadly, after Winery #3 our tour had a forced ending because the rest we planned to visit had closed (it was around 6pm at this point). So we consoled ourselves with pizza at a sports bar (yep, after the Thai food, for those of you keeping track). We hung out at the sports bar for a while, and I later discovered this picture on my camera:

Me and Dave

You can’t tell (it’s just a teeny bit on the blurry side, haha), but I’m pretty sure Dave was making fun of me for something. It’s not exactly out of the ordinary. 🙂

We ended up just exploring Santa Barbara for the rest of the evening. It’s such a cute city! It was full of fun restaurants like this:


Don’t worry, we didn’t actually go in and eat more. I just wanted a photo of all the lights. I snapped from afar. 🙂

We decided to stay Saturday night and explore some more of the town on Sunday. It was pretty cloudy on Saturday, but we woke up on Sunday morning to a slightly sunnier Santa Barbara. We grabbed brunch on the pier, and walked around some more.

This sand mermaid was pretty impressive.


I asked if I could take a photo, and the mermaid creator said yes. (That’s his foot photobombing, by the way.) Then he asked us for money. Then he mumbled something uncomplimentary about picture taking. Hey, we gave you money dude! I bet the elephants didn’t get paid for their artistic endeavors.

The clouds gave the day a gloomy, Autumn feel (yay!):

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara

Then it got sunny, California style. 🙂

Santa Barbara

I’m still in love with palm trees!

Santa Barbara

I still feel like every weekend out here is a vacation! California is full of such cute places, I feel like I could live here forever and still not see them all.

Santa Barbara, we’ll be back!

Santa Barbara, wine tasting



  1. How big is your complimentary wine glass collection these days? I know you must have a ton of them! You gotta love a wine glass with a good story behind it. 🙂

  2. I am running a marathon there in November, which probably means no wine tasting.

    I went there once for a work retreat, and I liked what I saw. Again, no wine tasting. Bwah.

  3. I have never even been to a wine tasting…obviously this is on my to do 🙂

  4. i definitely need to do more wine tastings. i’ve only done one!

  5. The only wine tastings I’ve gone to are the free ones liquor stores offer to bring you in the door. Not even CLOSE to the real thing 😉

  6. This post is such a nostalgia trip for me! I haven’t played shuffleboard since I used to play it with my grandpa 😀 And your pictures of the beach look like they’re from a glamorous 50s movie. I love them!

  7. Beautiful photos! Looks like you had a great time!

  8. I am still confused about the elephants painting wine glasses after reading that a few times. Or rather, I can’t believe it…! Santa barbara looks beautiful especially with your photo taking abilities- gorgeous pictures!

  9. Isabelle@cheesymiteapples says:

    That’s awesome you got a chance to sample what Kalyra has to offer.
    The wine’s they produce under the Brown label come from certain vineyards in Australia which are so delicious tasting!

  10. Gah! This looks like SO much fun! Love love love your photos! Also it looks like you figured out the sub-pages! YAY! 🙂

  11. Le jealous. This looks amazing. I did an epic wine tasting in Sonoma a few years ago… would really love to head back. Your pics of Santa Barbara are GORGEOUS! Keep ’em coming 🙂

  12. What a GORGEOUS post! It looks like an awesome time. I didn’t start drinking until my bachelorette party several months ago (don’t ask me why!) and now that I do I have a new appreciation of wine tastings 🙂

  13. gurrrrl, you are the hawtness in those pictures!! Also, I want to go to there. Looks soooo relaxing and drunk.

  14. How fun! Love the pictures and looks like you had an amazing time!

  15. This looks like a blast! Shout out for the Hoosier state! I was born and raised in southern Indiana. Can’t seem to leave either… Haha but i do love Cali! Hope you are enjoying the west!

  16. How fabulous! love me a good wine tasting. My first trip out to Cali, I saw a sand artist create an octopus at Venice. Don’t know how these guys do it. I just don’t understand why you have to pay to take a picture. Yes, they made it and blah blah but still 😉

  17. I had no idea some wineries give away complimentary glasses! I need to find ones that do that! Is there a directory or something?

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