St. James Winery

Tasting bar
Tasting bar
Awards
Awards

**** (4 stars)

Excellent producer of both sweet and dry wines from Missouri. It's a challenging place to make dry wines, so their efforts are particularly noteworthy.

The tasting bar offer the opportunity to try any five of their vast selection for a mere five dollars.

My favorites are their Chambourcin and Norton, but if you like something with a touch of sweetness, the Pink Catawba and Concord are the way to go.

St. James Winery
540 State Rt B
Saint James, MO 65559

https://www.yelp.com/biz/st-james-winery-saint-james

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

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

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

Babcock Winery & Vineyards

Exterior
Interior

*** (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

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