Talley Vineyards

Interior
Exterior

***** (5 stars)

This was the best producer we visited during our day in the Arroyo Grande area. Their Chardonnays and Sirah were particular standouts. The tasting room has a marvelous view of the vineyards, and there is a nice outside area for relaxing with a bottle. We voted by joining their club!

Talley Vineyards
3031 Lopez Dr
Arroyo Grande, CA
93420
(805) 270-7505
https://www.yelp.com/biz/talley-vineyards-arroyo-grande

Laetitia Vineyard & Winery

Exterior
Exterior
Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a lovely hilltop tasting room. The winery specializes in sparkling wines, and the ones we tried were crisp and well made. Their wine club is a particularly good deal. Our server was friendly and very enthusiast.

Laetitia Vineyard & Winery
453 Laetitia Vineyard Dr
Arroyo Grande, CA
93420
(805) 481-1772
https://www.yelp.com/biz/laetitia-vineyard-and-winery-arroyo-grande-2

Babcock Winery & Vineyards

Exterior

*** (3 stars)

Definitely the best gift shop of all the area’s wineries! Lots of fun merchandise in a warren of funky little spaces. Plus a great collection of artifacts such as old typewriters ! Serviceable wines, although you’ll find infinitely better product right next for at Melville Vineyards. A fascinating example of the difference in winemaking techniques.

Babcock Winery & Vineyards
5175 E Hwy 246
Lompoc, CA
93436
(805) 736-1455
https://www.yelp.com/biz/babcock-winery-and-vineyards-lompoc

Melville Vineyards & Winery

Exterior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

Top notch winemaking, in sharp contrast to some nearby wineries. Pinot Noir and Syrah are standouts here, and you can really see the difference in complexity between the estate and block designated wines. The top end wines are not cheap, but are worth it. Beautiful facility and grounds.

Melville Vineyards & Winery
5185 E Hwy 246
Lompoc, CA
93436
(805) 735-7030
https://www.yelp.com/biz/melville-vineyards-and-winery-lompoc

Shady Creek Winery

***** (5 stars)

This is one of the best wineries in the area for visitors, because they have good wines, a nice ambiance and an extensive food menu. The staff is friendly, and on the day we were there they had live entertainment.

One of the reasons their wines are good is because they are making their dry wines from California grapes, not local ones (which are better suited to making sweet wines).

Everything we sampled was well made. Note that there is a fee ($5) for five samples.

Shady Creek Winery
2030 Tryon Rd
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 874-9463
http://www.yelp.com/biz/shady-creek-winery-michigan-city

Butler Winery

***** (5 stars)

It’s hard to make great dry wines from unusual grapes in difficult growing areas, so Butler winery is to be commended for their excellent results. Lots of wineries in the area produce drinkable sweet wines from local grapes, but Butler is the only one we visited that is making outstanding dry wines using those varietals. Everything we tried was a terrific example of meticulous winemaking.

There’s small attached shop at the entrance, and then a tasting counter staffed by very personable and knowledgeable folks who are justifiably proud of their award winning wines. We purchased a mixed half case of dry whites and reds.

Butler Winery
401 Broadway
Chesterton, IN 46304
(219) 929-1400
http://www.yelp.com/biz/butler-winery-chesterton

Round Barn Winery

***** (5 stars)

This place certainly had the best wine of any of the southwest Michigan wineries we visited. The large, round, tasting room can get busy, but the service is friendly, and your tasting fee includes five samples, a glass to keep, and a discount on purchases.

As with all Michigan state wineries, you can tell that the winemakers are struggling to compensate for less than ideal growing conditions for vinifera. But the battle is largely being won here, and the sauvignon blanc, in particular, was world class.

The weekend ambience at the winery is hopping. There is live outdoor music, and hundreds of folks gathered around enjoying it. There is also a barn where they sell their beers, although the brewery itself is elsewhere.

I don’t recommend their distilled spirits, as the rum tastes more like vodka mixed with gin. However the walnut creme liquor is fabulous, probably the best thing they make.

Round Barn Winery
10983 Hills Rd
Baroda, MI 49101
(800) 716-9463
http://www.yelp.com/biz/round-barn-winery-baroda