Bubbly Time!

sparkling wineWe’re so fortunate here to be surrounded by some of best vineyards in the world—especially our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals—and increasingly, makers of sparkling wines–perfect to celebrate the fast-approaching year-end and fresh beginnings. The 22 tasting rooms in downtown Solvang offer some delicious options.  Just in time to ring in the 2016 New Year—stroll around and take some sips! For example, at Lucas & Lewellen Tasting Room, experience the L&L Brut Sparkling Wine 2012, made in the Méthode Traditionelle, (fermented in the bottle with hand riddling & disgorging)—it contains 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grapes from their Los Alamos Vineyards.

At Wandering Dog Wine Bar, you can try out the “Bubbles Flight” of 3 ounces each of three sparklers or enjoy a special Holiday Sparkling & Cheese Pairing (thru 1/3/16) for only $25 featuring three half glasses of festive sparkling wines paired with three delicious tasting portions of gourmet cheeses. Wines are subject to change, yet generally you’ll experience the Bentley’s Bubbles Blanc de Blancs from the Wandering Dog house label, an Italian Prosecco and a French Champagne.

It’s easy to bring more “cheer” to your new year in Solvang! http://www.solvangusa.com/wine-country/wine-tasting-rooms/


Your Last Minute Gift Guide

Solvang, CaliforniaYou know that Christmas is only 3 days away! I’m not attempting to add to your holiday stress—just a reminder that Solvang has more than 150 independent and family-owned boutiques (chain stores are virtually non-existent here) where you can discover that gift you never thought you’d find! Here’s some ideas . . . Every day is Christmas at Jule Hus (with a wide-selection of Old-European Christmas and blown-glass ornaments. Rasmussen’s is one-stop shopping for all things Scandinavian from Royal Copenhagen porcelain as well as incredible varieties of kitchen items, house wares and decorations. Nathalie’s Doll House offers specialty dolls, houses, furniture and unique selections of toys for girls and boys.

ShopSmall logoFind the giant red clog outside Solvang Shoe Store and step inside for a variety of high-quality footwear and modern-day clogs. At the impressive Z Folio Gallery be dazzled with Czech art glass, handmade designer jewelry, innovative decor and giclée nature photography along with designer trunk shows and exhibitions. Solvang Antiques is a premier collective featuring restored clocks, music boxes, estate jewelry, American and European furniture, silver, lighting and glass. Judith Hale Gallery (within Solvang Antiques) offers paintings, prints, sculpture and other mediums for discerning collectors. Gerda’s Iron Art Gift Shop is filled to the rafters with Scandinavian arts, crafts, jewelry and more. A readers’ favorite for over forty years, The Book Loft specializes in Scandinavian, antiquarian and children’s books, as well as local interests and California history. The Copenhagen House is where modern Denmark wares, jewels and watches await your discovery!What’s on your shopping list? Fulfill it here! http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/shopping/

Third Wednesday Holiday Happenings

IMG_0458Tenley Fohl Photography_S3W-Wine+Beer Walk GlassesYou know you love finding great deals (especially this time of year) so make sure you experience everything that December’s Solvang Third Wednesday (12/16/15), has to offer! There are dozens of holiday shopping and entertainment opportunities including deals at local merchants, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors; the weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market; Solvang Third Wednesday discounts at local hotels; and the Solvang Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk.

wildling-museum-solvang-caIf you’re looking for some unique presents, consider these! Check out the Wildling Museum’s Gift Shop at 1511-B Mission Drive, as well as featuring FREE admission from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM during Solvang Third Wednesday. Or get crafty side at Mie’s Beads, located at 1539-A Mission Drive (next to Wandering Dog Wine Bar), to participate in a fun and educational jewelry-making class from 5:00-7:00 PM. You’ll go home with a completed project – perhaps some beaded earrings, a bracelet, a key ring, or a necklace. Mie’s class is complimentary with purchase of materials. Cheers to your holiday discoveries all over the village!

Julefest Wine & Beer Walk This Weekend—Plus Nativity Pageant, Free Visits with Santa & More

Solvang, CaliforniaGet yourself and your friends in the holiday spirit (so to speak) with Julefest Wine & Beer Walk this weekend! It’s cheer-fully happening this year on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. You can stroll about downtown and sip local vintages (plus enjoy some beer samplings, too) at 15 different tasting rooms/wine bars  including–Casa Cassara, Dascomb Cellars, Lions Peak, Lost Point, Lucas & Lewellen, Lucky Dogg, Olive House, Pace, Presidio Winery, Royal Oaks, Sevtap, Sort This Out Cellars, The Good Life, Toccata and Wandering Dog Wine Bar. Tickets are only $40 per person for the 2-day passport including a souvenir wine glass (you must be 21 years+ naturally for this adult activity). It’s an incredible value! Tickets are going fast, so purchase yours online now at https://squareup.com/market/solvang-visitors-bureau

2015-solvang-julefest__sideFor more info on all the other festive events happening during Solvang Julefest (pronounced Yule-fest) including the Nativity Pageant (Saturday, 12/12/15, at 5pm and 7pm at Solvang Festival Theater–free admission for live show with choir); free visits with Santa in Solvang Park on 12/12/15 and 12/13/15,  plus Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail therapy at over 150 independent boutiques, shops and stores–visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/

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Julefest er Her! (Christmas Fest is Here!)


You may have noticed the nip in the air this week yet it feels perfect for the start of 2015 Solvang Julefest! Say Yule-fest and you’ll sound like a native! This Friday (12/4/15) at 5:00 p.m. you and your family are invited to join the festivities as we light the Community Tree in Solvang Park during a free ceremony featuring caroling, live entertainment and dancing ballerinas.  And you & yours need to experience the Julefest Parade this Saturday (12/5/15) at 11:00 a.m. with 300+ participants marching, rolling, trotting and strolling thru downtown Solvang. It starts at the Vets Hall heading west along festively decorated Mission Drive; to Fourth Place then east on Copenhagen Drive back to Alisal Road and the Old Mission.  I’m really looking forward to announcing the Julefest parade again, too!

Plus, there will be free visits with Santa in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street).  When you arrive, it’s first come, first seated with the jolly old elf. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moments! Here’s when: Friday, 12/4/15 from 4:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturday, 12/5/15 from 12:30-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12/6/15 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; then next weekend on Saturday, 12/12/15 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12/13/15 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

2015-solvang-julefest__sideOther Julefest festivities include the Holiday Wine & Beer Walk (December 12 & 13) as well as the traditional Nativity Pageant (December 12) and Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail specials. Julefest concludes with the Annual Christmas Tree Burn on 1/8/16. All Solvang Julefest events are open to the public with free admission (except Julefest Wine & Beer Walk). For more info, please call 805-688-6144; stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) or visit www.SolvangUSA.com/julefest